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Biomed Sci Instrum. 2013;49:157-64.

Tensile behavior of porous scaffolds made from poly(para phenylene) - biomed 2013.

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University of Wyoming.


The goal of this study was to fabricate and mechanically characterize a high-strength porous polymer scaffold for potential use as an orthopedic device. Poly(para-phenylene) (PPP) is an excellent candidate due to its exceptional strength and stiffness and relative inertness, but has never been explicitly investigated for use as a biomedical device. PPP has strength values 3 to 10 times higher and an elastic modulus nearly an order of magnitude higher than traditional polymers such as poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), polycaprolactone (PCL), ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), and polyurethane (PU) and is significantly stronger and stiffer than polyetheretherketone (PEEK). By utilizing PPP we can overcome the mechanical limitations of traditional porous polymeric scaffolds since the outstanding stiffness of PPP allows for a highly porous structure appropriate for osteointegration that can match the stiffness of bone (100-250 MPa), while maintaining suitable mechanical properties for soft-tissue fixation. Porous samples were manufactured by powder sintering followed by particle leaching. The pore volume fraction was systematically varied from 50–80 vol% for a pore sizes from150-500 µm, as indicated by previous studies for optimal osteointegration. The tensile modulus of the porous samples was compared to the rule of mixtures, and closely matches foam theory up to 70 vol%. The experimental modulus for 70 vol% porous samples matches the stiffness of bone and contains pore sizes optimal for osteointegration.


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