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Inari Lyyra: Combining materials opens up new possibilities for implants degrading in the body

Tampere University
LocationKorkeakoulunkatu 8, Tampere
Hervanta campus, Festia building, Small Auditorium 1 and remote connection
Date11.6.2024 9.00–13.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
Photo: Mari Yli-Ketelä
As the population is aging, there is a growing need for synthetic biomaterials to overcome the shortage of tissue grafts. In her doctoral dissertation, MSc (Tech) Inari Lyyra explored biodegradable composites made of bioactive glass and biodegradable polymers. The main aim of her thesis was to understand the influence of the composites’ composition on their properties.

Biomaterial development aims to create materials to mimic natural tissues. Composites are a natural choice as biomaterials, as for example skin and bone are composite structures. Moreover, changing the composite composition, such as the constituent materials and their ratio, enables tailoring the properties of the composite for each application. 

This is the core of Inari Lyyra’s doctoral dissertation. In addition, biodegradable composites omit the need for removal surgeries, as the material degrades in the body ideally at the same rate as the tissues regenerate.

The matrix materials explored in the thesis are polylactide (PLA) and poly(butylene succinate) (PBSu). PLA has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and widely used in numerous clinical applications, including tissue engineering applications, cardiovascular implants, and orthopaedic interventions. 

PBSu has been used as a packaging material for decades but has not been widely evaluated for biomedical applications. Bioactive glasses dissolve in the body and form an ionically active surface layer, facilitating cell attachment and thus tissue integration with biomaterial. In addition, therapeutic ions can be included in the bioactive glass composition, evoking specific responses in the body.

In her thesis, Inari Lyyra combined PLA, PBSu, and bioactive glass to make biodegradable composites with tailorable mechanical properties and degradation rate as well as high biocompatibility with cells. 

“The composites could be in the repair of bony tissues but also in a variety of applications, ranging from urethral to connective tissue regeneration” Lyyra says.

Inari Lyyra comes from Jyväskylä, Finland and currently works in the R&D team at Bioretec Ltd. She did her Master’s Thesis in Tampere University on the processing of biodegradable polymers, and then continued to develop her expertise also in bioactive glass and composites.

Public defence on Tuesday 11 June 

The doctoral dissertation of MSc (Tech) Inari Lyyra in the field of biomedical engineering titled Composition and properties of biodegradable composites of a bioactive glass filler and a single polymer or a blend matrix will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology at Tampere University at 12:00 on Tuesday 11 June 2024 at Hervanta campus, Festia building, in the Small Auditorium 1 (Korkeakoulunkatu 8, Tampere). The Opponent will be Professor Elizabeth Tanner of Queen Mary University of London. The Custos will be Professor Jonathan Massera of Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University.

The doctoral dissertation is available online

The public defence can be followed via remote connection