Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials

Biostability of polyether-urethane scaffolds: a comparison of two novel processing methods and the effect of higher gamma-irradiation dose.

PMID 15756657


This article deals with enzyme-induced biodegradation behavior of thermoplastic polyether-urethane (TPU). Porous scaffolds were processed by a new foaming method applied in hot pressing and injection molding. The scaffolds were subsequently gamma sterilized. The samples were incubated with cholesterol esterase (CE) for 28 days to simulate an enzymatic degradation order to assess polymer biostability. The main focus of degradation products was the most toxic one: methylene dianiline (MDA). LC/MS was used to separate the breakdown products and to identify possible MDA amounts. The results showed that (a) the hot-pressed sample released an MDA amount almost twice as large (0.26 ng +/- 0.008) as that of the injection-molded samples (0.15 ng +/- 0.003) after incubation with enzyme activity in the physiological range, and (b) a tenfold increase in CE activity revealed considerably higher MDA amounts (7540.0 ng +/- 0.004). This enzyme concentration is physiologically unlikely, however, but may occur for extreme high inflammation behavior. Even for extremely high levels of CE enzyme, the scaffold will not discharge MDA above toxic levels. The injection-molded samples sterilized at 25 kGy seem to represent the most promising processing method. Therefore, the new injection-molding foaming process of polyether-urethane can be considered appropriate for use as a biomaterial.