Biocompatibility and safety of PLA and its copolymers

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2016 Dec 15;107:153-162. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2016.03.012. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


PLA and its copolymers are commonly used for a wide variety of applications. While they are considered to be biocompatible, side effects resulting from their implantation have been reported. The implantation of biomaterials always results in a foreign body reaction. Such a reaction has also been reported following PLA and its copolymers. This article reviews the process of inflammatory reaction that is to be expected following implantation of PLA, and it highlights specific cases in which the inflammatory reaction can result in safety concerns. The authors also review selected cases from different medical fields to demonstrate possible clinical side effects resulting from its use.

Keywords: Biocompatibility; Degradable materials; PLA; PLGL; Polymers; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Polyesters / adverse effects*
  • Polyesters / chemistry*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyesters
  • poly(lactide)