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Biomaterials. 2004 Sep;25(20):4887-900.

Long-term in vivo biostability of poly(dimethylsiloxane)/poly(hexamethylene oxide) mixed macrodiol-based polyurethane elastomers.

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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia.


The long-term biostability of a novel thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (Elast-Eon 2 80A) synthesized using poly(hexamethylene oxide) (PHMO) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) macrodiols has been studied using an in vivo ovine model. The material's biostability was compared with that of three commercially available control materials, Pellethane 2363-80A, Pellethane 2363-55D and Bionate 55D, after subcutaneous implantation of strained compression moulded flat sheet dumbbells in sheep for periods ranging from 3 to 24 months. Scanning electron microscopy, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to assess changes in the surface chemical structure and morphology of the materials. Gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry and tensile testing were used to examine changes in bulk characteristics of the materials. The results showed that the biostability of the soft flexible PDMS-based test polyurethane was significantly better than the control material of similar softness, Pellethane 80A, and as good as or better than both of the harder commercially available negative control polyurethanes, Pellethane 55D and Bionate 55D. Changes observed in the surface of the Pellethane materials were consistent with oxidation of the aliphatic polyether soft segment and hydrolysis of the urethane bonds joining hard to soft segment with degradation in Pellethane 80A significantly more severe than that observed in Pellethane 55D. Very minor changes were seen on the surfaces of the Elast-Eon 2 80A and Bionate 55D materials. There was a general trend of molecular weight decreasing with time across all polymers and the molecular weights of all materials decreased at a similar relative rate. The polydispersity ratio, Mw/Mn, increased with time for all materials. Tensile tests indicated that UTS increased in Elast-Eon 2 80A and Bionate 55D following implantation under strained conditions. However, ultimate strain decreased and elastic modulus increased in the explanted specimens of all three materials when compared with their unimplanted unstrained counterparts. The results indicate that a soft, flexible PDMS-based polyurethane synthesized using 20% PHMO and 80% PDMS macrodiols has excellent long-term biostability compared with commercially available polyurethanes.

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