Geometrically structured implants for cranial reconstruction made of biodegradable polyesters and calcium phosphate/calcium carbonate

Biomaterials. 2004 Mar-Apr;25(7-8):1239-47. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2003.08.047.


The aim of this study was the development of a processing pathway for manufacturing of biodegradable skull implants with individual geometry. The implants on the basis of polylactide and calcium phosphate/calcium carbonate were prepared by a combination of hot pressing and gas foaming. On the inside, the implant consists of a macroporous and faster degradable material (poly(D,L-lactide)+CaCO3) to allow the ingrowth of bone cells. The pore size is in the range of 200-400 microm. On the outside, the implant consists of a compact and slower biodegradable material (poly(L-lactide) and calcium phosphate) to ensure mechanical stability and protection. To overcome problems like inflammatory reactions caused by acidic degradation products of polylactide, the polyester was combined with basic filling materials (calcium salts). The filler neutralises the lactic acid produced during polymer degradation and increases the bioactivity of the material. The stabilised pH was demonstrated by long-term in vitro pH studies. Over a time period of 250 d in demineralised water, the pH was in the physiological range. The in vitro biocompatibility was shown by cell cultures with human osteoblasts. A good proliferation of the cells was observed over the whole test period of 4 weeks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Bone Substitutes / chemical synthesis
  • Bone Substitutes / chemistry*
  • Calcium Carbonate / chemistry*
  • Calcium Phosphates / chemistry*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Elasticity
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / chemistry*
  • Manufactured Materials / analysis
  • Materials Testing
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Prosthesis Design


  • Bone Substitutes
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Lactic Acid
  • poly(lactide)
  • calcium phosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate