Novel biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) foam for bone regeneration

Robert C. Thomson, Michael J. Yaszemski, John M. Powers, Antonios G. Mikos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


We present a novel method for manufacturing three-dimensional, biodegradable poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) foam scaffolds for use in bone regeneration. The technique involves the formation of a composite material consisting of gelatin microspheres surrounded by a PLGA matrix. The gelatin microspheres are leached out leaving an open-cell foam with a pore size and morphology defined by a gelatin microspheres. The foam porosity can be controlled by altering the volume fraction of gelatin used to make composite material. PLGA 50:50 was used as a model degradable polymer to establish the effect of porosity, pore size, and degradation on foam mechanical properties. The compressive strengths and moduli of PLGA 50:50 foams were found to decrease with increasing porosity but were largely unaffected by pore size. Foams with compressive strengths up to 2.5 MPa were manufactured. From in vitro degradation studies we established that for PLGA 50:50 foams the mechanical properties declined in parallel with the decrease in molecular weight. Below a weight average molecular weight of 10,000 the foam had very little mechanical strength (0.02 MPa). These result indicates that PLGA would not be suitable as a scaffold material for bone regeneration. However, the dependence of mechanical properties on porosity, pore size,and degree of degradation which we have determined will aid us in designing a PLGA foam (with a comonomer ratio other than 50:50) suitable for bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
PublisherPubl by Materials Research Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1558992308
StatePublished - 1994
EventProceedings of the Biomaterials for Drug and Cell Delivery - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 29 1993Dec 1 1993

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


OtherProceedings of the Biomaterials for Drug and Cell Delivery
CityBoston, MA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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