The gradual shift from biostable prostheses to degradable, temporary implants represents one of the most significant trends in biomaterials research. In view of this trend, medical applications of degradable implant materials were reviewed with special emphasis on orthopedic polymeric implants. Among the polymeric implant materials derived from natural sources, collagen, various polysaccharides such as cellulose, and microbial polyesters have been intensively investigated. Among the synthetic, degradable polymers, aliphatic polyesters such as poly(glycolic acid), poly(lactic acid), poly(caprolactone) and polydioxanone, are most commonly investigated. Only recently, several new classes of polymers such as poly(ortho esters), polyanhydrides, and degradable polycarbonates have been introduced as potential implant materials. A particularly versatile group of new biomaterials with promising engineering properties are the “pseudo”-poly(amino acids), amino acid derived polymers in which conventional peptide bonds have been replaced by various chemical linkages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering