In vivo biocompatibility study of ABA triblock copolymers consisting of poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) A blocks attached to central poly(oxyethylene) B blocks

J Biomed Mater Res. 1996 Jan;30(1):31-40. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4636(199601)30:1<31::AID-JBM5>3.0.CO;2-S.


Films of three ABA-block copolymers composed of lactic-co-glycolic acid A blocks and poly(oxyethylene) (PEO) B blocks and one random lactic-co-glycolic acid copolymer (PLG) were studied to investigate the influence of different polymer compositions and molecular weights on the tissue reaction, appearance of toxic degradation products, and swelling behavior in the cage implant system in rats. The inflammatory tissue reaction was followed over a 21-day implantation period by monitoring the leukocyte concentration, the extracellular acid, and alkaline phosphatase activities in a quantitative manner. Size and density of adherent macrophages and foreign body giant cells on the film surfaces were determined. The ABA and PLG implants caused only a minimal inflammatory reaction, as characterized by a low concentration of leukocytes during the implantation period when compared to empty cage controls. The content of PEO had an influence on the density of the adherent cells on the surface of the polymer film. An increase in PEO content and molecular weight decreased the cellular density during the implantation period. As demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy, no degradation was observed for all polymers during the implantation period. Our results demonstrate that the ABA block copolymers and PLG copolymer, are equally well tolerated in the cage implant test system.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects*
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Exudates and Transudates / cytology
  • Female
  • Giant Cells, Foreign-Body / physiology
  • Lactic Acid*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Materials Testing
  • Molecular Weight
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Polyglycolic Acid*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polymers / adverse effects*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Surface Properties


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polymers
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Alkaline Phosphatase