Bioresorbable polymers increasingly are the materials of choice for implantable orthopaedic fixation devices. Controlled degradation of these polymers is vital for preservation of mechanical properties during tissue repair and controlled release of incorporated agents such as osteoconductive or anti-microbial additives. The work outlined in this paper investigates the use of low energy electron beam irradiation to surface modify polyhydroxyacid samples incorporating beta tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP). This work uniquely demonstrates that surface modification of bioresorbable polymers through electron beam irradiation allows for the early release of incorporated agents such as bioactive additives. Samples were e-beam irradiated at an energy of 125 keV and doses of either 150 kGy or 500 kGy. Irradiated and non-irradiated samples were degraded in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), to simulate bioresorption, followed by characterisation. The results show that low energy e-beam irradiation enhances surface hydrolytic degradation in comparison to bulk and furthermore allows for earlier release of incorporated calcium via dissolution into the surrounding medium.
Simpson, M., Gilmore, B. F., Miller, A., Helt-Hansen , J., & Buchanan, F. J. (2014). Irradiation of bioresorbable biomaterials for controlled surface degradation. Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 94, 211-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radphyschem.2013.09.002