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Biodegradable and bioabsorbable polymeric - ceramic composites for medical applications

Tomasz Jaroszewicz 1Barbara D. Ostrowska 1Wojciech Swieszkowski 1Miroslawa El Fray 2Krzysztof J. Kurzydlowski 1

1. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering (InMat), Wołoska 141, Warszawa 02-507, Poland
2. Szczecin University of Technology, Polymer Instiute, Pulaskiego 10, Szczecin 70-322, Poland


Bioabsorbable and biodegradable materials are expected to maintain their mechanical properties for an amount of time and then eventually degrade and be resorbed or excreted. Biodegradable polymers, especially those belonging to the family of polyglicolic acid (PGA) and polylactic acid (PLA) together with poly e-caprolactone, play an increasingly important role in medical applications. Due to their properties, they find their place in orthopaedics and tissue engineering. They can be used to manufacture a wide range of bone implants, porous scaffolds and cell carriers for tissue engineering.

Initial durability of polymer made device or the time, when it is suitable, are to small to ensure patient’s full reconvalescence or proper cells density on the scaffold. Therefore, using polymer-ceramic composites as a timber,  besides only polymer or co-polymer made, seem to be more favourable. Ceramics improves implant’s/scaffold’s mechanical properties and vitality which eliminates the risk  of to early disintegration.

The aim of the study was to develop a strong biodegradable implant material which could be used for medical application. Different polymer-ceramic composites were fabricated using combined mixing and extrusion process. PLA, PGA and PCL were selected as a matrix materials. HAp and TCP (10-30%) have been used to reinforce the polymeric matrixes.

Extensive mechanical tests were performed to investigate the mechanical properties of the composite. µCT and nCT as well as SEM, were used to study the ceramic particles distribution in the polymeric matrix. Mechanical tests results show the increase of stiffness, improved tensile and breaking strengths and very low sterilization influence on mechanical properties. The particles were distributed homogeneously in the polymer. The conclusion is that the developed composites may be used as implant materials.


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Related papers

Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium L, by Tomasz Jaroszewicz
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-07-08 10:49
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48