|dc.description.abstract||Within cranial bone defect treatments, autografts remain the current gold standard for best healing outcomes. However, if the defect is of a unique shape, this process proves difficult and often requires additional surgeries. The work herein focuses on a regenerative approach utilizing a shape memory polymer (SMP) scaffold that can "self-fit" into a defect while maintaining important properties for healing (e.g. osteoconductivity, robustness, degradability).
Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is an extensively studied SMP but, alone, is limited in bone repair due to its relatively low modulus and slow degradation rate for adequate bone healing.[1-3] To improve these properties, our group reported SMPs comprised of a semi-interpenetrating network (semi-IPN) of cross-linked PCL diacrylate (PCL-DA) and poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), which have shown great potential.[4, 5] Here, we investigated the degradation behavior of porous PCL-PLLA semi-IPN SMP implants in vitro under both accelerated conditions and non-accelerated conditions towards ultimately predicting in vivo performance. Rapid degradation with greater PLLA wt% content was observed, along with mass losses up to ~9% at 5 months real-time degradation. Additionally, degradation was unaffected by the compressed implant "fitting" process, yet slightly accelerated by the application of a bioactive surface coating.||en