In vitro degradation of a poly(propylene fumarate)-based composite material

Michael J. Yaszemski, Richard G. Payne, Wilson C. Hayes, Robert Langer, Antonios G. Mikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


We investigated the in vitro degradation of a novel degradable polymeric composite material being developed to function as a temporary replacement for trabecular bone. This material is based on a mixture of poly(propylene fumarate) cross-linked by N-vinyl pyrrolidone and includes sodium chloride and β-tricalcium phosphate. Using an in vitro test in simulated body fluids, the compressive strengths and compressive moduli of two composite materials increased with degradation time and remained above the minimum values acceptable for trabecular bone substitutes. A compressive strength of 21.3 (± 0.4) MPa and a compressive modulus of 696 (± 53) MPa were measured after twelve weeks for a composite material with initial strength of 18.0 (± 4.6) MPa and initial modulus of 113 (± 40) MPa. This unexpected phenomenon may prove to be useful for orthopaedic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2130
Number of pages4
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1996


  • Bone substitutes
  • Composite materials
  • Degradable polymers
  • Poly(propylene fumarate)
  • β-tricalcium phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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