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J Biomed Mater Res. 1986 May-Jun;20(5):653-66.

Quantitative characterization of cells at the interface of long-term implants of selected polymers.


Comprehensive understanding of the relationship between biologic response and biomaterial characteristic requires quantitative evaluation of the cells at the interface of the material and descriptions of ultrastructural features of these cells. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively and quantitatively characterize the long term in vivo tissue and cellular response to two polymeric materials presently employed in the fabrication of surgical implants. Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (PE) and polysulfone (PSF) particles were implanted subcutaneously into rats for 100-118 weeks. Specimens were embedded in paraffin and ERL embedding medium in preparation for light and transmission electron microscopy. Percentage of the particle surface covered by various cell types was determined using a computer interactive image analysis system. PE and PSF particles were sequestered within a subcutaneous fibrous capsule. Cell types present included macrophages, fibroblasts and giant cells characteristic of a foreign body granuloma. Statistical comparison of the percent particle surface covered by each cell type revealed no significant difference between PSF and PE. However, surface texture appeared to influence the tissue response. TEM confirmed the identity of the cells at the interface and consistently revealed a layer of amorphous extracellular substance including cell debris on the material surface. Results evidence the tissue compatibility of PE and PSF and indicate no significant difference in the tissue response to these polymers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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