Degradation resistance of some candidate composite biomaterials

G. B. McKenna, G. W. Bradley, H. K. Dunn, W. O. Statton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The degradation resistance of matrix, fiber and composite systems which we have been studying as candidate orthopedic materials has been examined in two appropriate environments. Both resistance to steam sterilization in an autoclave environment and resistance to a simulated physiologic solution have been studied. In the autoclave study, samples were placed in a pressure cooker at 123°C for differing amounts of time and tested for retention of mechanical properties. Results indicate that most of the materials tested could be autoclaved several times, as along as autoclave times did not exceed 1 hr. Longer autoclave times result in an accelerated degradation and loss of strength of all materials except the polypropylene. Polysulfone degrades after even the shortest autoclave duration. Resistance to the simulated physiologic environment was tested by measuring retention of mechanical properties after immersion times in pseudo‐extracellular fluid (PECF) at 37°C for as long as three years. None of the materials showed any significant changes in properties after immersion in the PECF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-798
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1979


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