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Biomaterials. 2003 Nov;24(25):4707-14.

Fabrication of poly(propylene fumarate)-based orthopaedic implants by photo-crosslinking through transparent silicone molds.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, PO Box 1892 MS-142, Houston, TX 77251-1892, USA.


This work presents a new molding process for photo-crosslinked, degradable polymeric networks of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) and the crosslinking agent poly(propylene fumarate)-diacrylate (PPF-DA). Transparent room temperature vulcanizing silicone molds were fabricated for parts ranging from simple test coupons to orthopaedic implants. The PPF/PPF-DA resin blend was injected into the cavity and photo-crosslinked as light was transmitted through the mold wall. The volumetric shrinkage, mechanical properties, and the effects of gamma sterilization were reported for molded PPF/PPF-DA networks prepared with varying compositions of the two polymer components. The shrinkage decreased while the mechanical properties displayed a general increasing trend when more of the crosslinking agent was incorporated into the network. Gamma irradiation resulted in an improvement of the mechanical properties. In addition, PPF/PPF-DA replicates of a 70:30 poly(L/DL-lactide) biodegradable fixation plate and a bone allograft interbody fusion spacer were produced to evaluate the performance of PPF/PPF-DA as an orthopaedic implant and allow for a comparison to be made with materials that have been established for clinical use.

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