Methodologies for Long-Term Performance Evaluation of Bioresorbable Polymers used in Bone Fixation and Tissue Scaffolds: Invited Speaker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Implants made from bioresorbable polymers are gaining significant interest in orthopaedic, sports-injury and cardiovascular markets. The advantage of such materials over permanent metallic implants is that they provide temporary support during healing, then gradually degrade, transferring mechanical loads to regenerating tissue. They are also utilised in drug and bioactive release systems owing to the ability to tailor their bioresorption rate via appropriate polymer selection and post-processing procedures. Furthermore, they have potential for application in patient-specific tissue scaffolds produced by layer-by-layer manufacturing techniques such as fused deposition modelling.

This presentation will review manufacturing considerations for the fabrication of bioresorbable implants, focusing on melt-processing and tissue scaffold production via fused deposition modelling, for the bioresorbable polymer, poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA). Typical degradation behaviour and bioactive release mechanisms will be reviewed for these clinically relevant bioresorbable polymers containing bioactive fillers such as calcium phosphate (beta-TCP) and silica diatoms (Cyclotella meneghiniana).

The benefits of in vitro accelerated degradation testing will be presented along with some of the challenges of evaluating degradable systems in vivo. This will consider the delayed inflammatory response which has been report in some clinical studies in the late stages of polymer degradation. Few studies have assessed the long-term biocompatibility of these polymers and with an increasing market for bioresorbable materials it is anticipated that this will be an increasing issue. We aim to develop a predictive tool that can be used to assess the delayed inflammatory response of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PDLGA) using in vitro tests. An elevated temperature accelerated test (47°C) was developed and utilised to induce predetermined amounts of degradation in PDLGA. This was used to mimic a range of clinically relevant in vivo implantation times up to three months. All pre-degradation work was performed under sterile conditions, in PBS solution. At predetermined time intervals, indicators of late stage inflammation will be assessed using an MTT cytotoxicity assay, an inflammation antibody array and an ELISA analysis for inflammatory factors, with mouse L929 fibroblasts. It is hypothesised that at the later degradation time intervals signs of inflammatory factors will be observed.
The benefits of the methodologies developed in this work is that they may be applied to the optimisation of polymer degradation profiles to minimise late-stage inflammatory response and identification of post-processing treatments and additives in this regard.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
Duration: 11 May 201916 May 2019


Abbreviated titleBiomatsen 2019
Internet address


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