Investigation of crystallinity, molecular weight change, and mechanical properties of PLA/PBG bioresorbable composites as bone fracture fixation plates

Reda M. Felfel, Ifty Ahmed, Andrew J. Parsons, Papia Haque, Gavin S. Walker, Chris D. Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, bioresorbable phosphate-based glass (PBG) fibers were used to reinforce poly(lactic acid) (PLA). PLA/PBG random mat (RM) and unidirectional (UD) composites were prepared via laminate stacking and compression molding with fiber volume fractions between 14% and 18%, respectively. The percentage of water uptake and mass change for UD composites were higher than the RM composites and unreinforced PLA. The crystallinity of the unreinforced PLA and composites increased during the first few weeks and then a plateau was seen. XRD analysis detected a crystalline peak at 16.6° in the unreinforced PLA sample after 42 days of immersion in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at 37°C. The initial flexural strength of RM and UD composites was ∼106 and ∼115-MPa, whilst the modulus was ∼6.7 and ∼9-GPa, respectively. After 95 days immersion in PBS at 37°C, the strength decreased to 48 and 52-MPa, respectively as a result of fiber-matrix interface degradation. There was no significant change in flexural modulus for the UD composites, whilst the RM composites saw a decrease of ∼45%. The molecular weight of PLA alone, RM, and UD composites decreased linearly with time during degradation due to chain scission of the matrix. Short fiber pull-out was seen from SEM micrographs for both RM and UD composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-789
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Volume26
Issue number7
Early online date1 Dec 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2012

Keywords

  • bioresorbable composite
  • crystallinity
  • mechanical properties
  • phosphate glass fiber

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