Investigation of a HA/PDLGA/Carbon Foam Material System for Orthopedic Fixation Plates Based on Time-Dependent Properties
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While there is continuing interest in bioresorbable materials for orthopedic fixation devices, the major challenge in utilizing these materials in load-bearing applications is creating materials sufficiently stiff and strong to sustain loads throughout healing while maintaining fracture stability. The primary aim of this study is to quantify the degradation rate of a bioresorbable material system, then use this degradation rate to determine the material response of an orthopedic device made of the same material as healing progresses. The present research focuses on the development and characterization of a material system consisting of carbon foam infiltrated with hydroxyapatite (HA) reinforced poly(D,L-lactide)-co-poly(glycolide) (PDLGA). A processing technique is developed to infiltrate carbon foam with HA/PDLGA and material morphology is investigated. Additionally, short-term rat osteoblast cell studies are undertaken to establish a starting point for material biocompatibility. Degradation experiments are conducted to elicit the time-dependent properties of the material system at the material scale. These properties are then incorporated into computational models of an internal plate attached to a fractured human femur to design and predict the material response to applied physiological loads. Results from this work demonstrate the importance of material dissolution rate as well as material strength when designing internal fixation plates.
Rodriguez, Douglas E. (2009). Investigation of a HA/PDLGA/Carbon Foam Material System for Orthopedic Fixation Plates Based on Time-Dependent Properties. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from