Mechanical Behavior of Cyclically Loaded Polyparaphenylene Porous Scaffolds for Potential Use in Biomedical Devices

Bales, Dustin
The purpose of this research was to investigate fatigue behavior of open cell porous scaffolds constructed of Polyparaphenylene (PPP). PPP is reputed to have strength and stiffness properties nearly an order of magnitude higher than conventional biomedical polymers, and is in compliance with biocompatibility standard ISO 10993. It is our belief that the exceptional strength, stiffness, and toughness of PPP will allow for the creation of a porous structure that can match the stiffness of trabecular bone, while maintaining suitable mechanical properties for use as a load-bearing biomaterial. Porous orthopedic biomaterials are advantageous because they offer the possibility of creating a strong interface through osteointegration (i.e. bone ingrowth). However, the fatigue behavior (i.e. mechanical behavior under cyclic or repeated loading) of PPP has not been previously investigated, and would be critical for any such device. PPP samples of 75% porosity, with pore sizes appropriate for osteointegration, were cyclically loaded until failure. Loading results were analyzed using well established foam theory, and were used to develop the relation between stress and the number of cycles to failure (S-N).
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