Abstract: In the present work, the crystallization behavior and in vitro–in vivo hydrolysis rates of PLA absorbable reinforcement ligaments used in orthopaedics for the repair and reinforcement of articulation instabilities were studied. Tensile strength tests showed that this reinforcement ligament has similar mechanical properties to Fascia Latta, which is an allograft sourced from the ilio-tibial band of the human body. The PLA reinforcement ligament is a semicrystalline material with a glass transition temperature around 61 °C and a melting point of ~178 °C. Dynamic crystallization revealed that, although the crystallization rates of the material are slow, they are faster than the often-reported PLA crystallization rates. Mass loss and molecular weight reduction measurements showed that in vitro hydrolysis at 50 °C initially takes place at a slow rate, which gets progressively higher after 30–40 days. As found from SEM micrographs, deterioration of the PLA fibers begins during this time. Furthermore, as found from in vivo hydrolysis in the human body, the PLA reinforcement ligament is fully biocompatible and after 6 months of implantation is completely covered with flesh. However, the observed hydrolysis rate from in vivo studies was slow due to high molecular weight and degree of crystallinity.
Keywords: PLA; reinforcement ligaments; orthopaedics; crystallization; in vitro–in vivo hydrolysis
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Beslikas, T.; Gigis, I.; Goulios, V.; Christoforides, J.; Papageorgiou, G.Z.; Bikiaris, D.N. Crystallization Study and Comparative in Vitro–in Vivo Hydrolysis of PLA Reinforcement Ligament. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 6597-6618.
Beslikas T, Gigis I, Goulios V, Christoforides J, Papageorgiou GZ, Bikiaris DN. Crystallization Study and Comparative in Vitro–in Vivo Hydrolysis of PLA Reinforcement Ligament. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011; 12(10):6597-6618.
Beslikas, Theodore; Gigis, Ioannis; Goulios, Vasilios; Christoforides, John; Papageorgiou, George Z.; Bikiaris, Dimitrios N. 2011. "Crystallization Study and Comparative in Vitro–in Vivo Hydrolysis of PLA Reinforcement Ligament." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12, no. 10: 6597-6618.