The key problem with artificial joint materials is obtaining quick and firm attachment onto the underlying bone. In developing artificial articular cartilage, composed of polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel (PVA-H), this problem was solved by using a composite osteo-chondral device (COD). This enables attachment within four weeks post-operation by massive bone ingrowth into the pores. The COD consists of PVA-H as an artificial cartilage and titanium fiber mesh (TFM) as porous artificial bone. In this study, the strength of the shear resistance force at the interface of the PVA-H and the TFM fabricated by injection molding and the changes in the mechanical properties of the PVA-H fabricated by high temperature during the injection-molding process were examined. The shear resistance force was strengthened markedly by using injection molding and no important deterioration of the PVA-H was found. Morphological examination of canine spines, to which artificial intervertebral discs made of the COD were implanted, showed good bonding of the COD with the vertebral bodies for an extended period of 30 months, and encouraged us to use the COD clinically.
Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.