Resorbable device for fracture fixation: In vivo degradation and mechanical behaviour

M. Fini, S. Giannini, R. Giardino, G. Giavaresi, M. Grimaldi, N. Nicoli, N. N. Aldini, L. Orienti, M. Rocca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of a high molecular weight poly(L-lactide), with supposed good mechanical properties, encouraged us to carry out an in vivo experimental study to evaluate the degradation rate and accompanying loss of strength during interaction with bone. Small cylindrical PLLA rods were manufactured by compression moulding. Thirty-six male New Zealand rabbits (b.w. 3 kg), randomly divided into six groups of six animals each, were submitted to implantation of the rods under general anaesthesia (diameter 3x7 mm rods in the lateral condylic region of the right femur and diameter 3x50 mm rods in the intracondylic channel of the left femur). The animals were then sacrificed at the end of each experimental time (4, 8, 12, 24, 52, 64 weeks), hence the femurs were explanted. Histology showed no inflammatory cells with fragmentation or resorption of bone trabeculae. Mechanical studies showed a decrease in mechanical properties and flexional stiffness, and the absence of evident material resorption. Finally, the properties of this newly developed resorbable device, when confirmed, seem to justify future clinical introduction of this synthetic material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-776
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Biocompatibility
  • Biodegradation
  • Bone fixation
  • Implants
  • Mechanical properties
  • Poly(L-lactide)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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