Laponite is an additive which is by definition, "a unique specialty additive; a layered silicate manufactured from naturally occurring inorganic mineral sources." The main purpose in which Laponite serves can be separated into two major uses:
1) Rheology Modifier — Laponite is added to various consumer products to improve stability; many products have been shear sensitive or thixotropic behavior. Laponite is often used as a thickener in cosmetics.
2) Film Former— Laponite produces film to create electrically conductive coatings
Aside from these two major uses, Laponite has been used in the healthcare industry as a bioink additive to hydrogels, enabling a habitable environment for stem cells and also playing a role in creating a biodegradable containment for drug delivery.
Laponite bioink has been proven to decrease in viscosity when force is applied allowing an easy process when creating various layers. After the layers are created, Laponite is able to regain its viscosity and retain the shape of the desired form.
Similar to our recent application note on Polylactic Acid (PLA) with Intrinsic Viscosity, ensuring the best and optimal conditions prior to being used on patients is quite important. With the proper formulation of Laponite and PLA, drug delivery, scaffolds for tissue regeneration, and implants can be optimized and used to ensure a faster recovery, improved physical comfort, and overall a better support system for patients.
The challenges when working with PLA would include analyzing the performance factors on the degredation of the polymers and also the consistency. It is essential to use an accurate viscometer to get viscosity measurements and intrinsic viscosity measurements to ensure consistent molecular weight of PLA.
Similar to that of PLA, Laponite would also need to be closely monitored. Overall being added to hydrogels and having shear thinning capabilities, it is essential to do shear dependent viscosity studies to analyze the overall behavior of Laponite.
With RheoSense viscometers including our R&D Viscometer, m-VROC®, and our automatic viscometer, VROC® initium, you can plug in various shear rates, input your measurement parameters, click run, and walk away.
Go enjoy a cup of coffee or work on other important projects while your viscosity measurements at various shear rates are accurately collected.