As reported in Part I (In vivo testing of crosslinked polyethers. I. Tissue reactions and biodegradation, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., this issue, pp. 307-320), microscopical evaluation after implantation of crosslinked (co)polyethers in rats showed differences in the rate of biodegradation, depending on the presence of tertiary hydrogen atoms in the main chain and the hydrophilicity of the polyether system. In this article (Part II) the biostability will be discussed in terms of weight loss, the swelling behavior, and changes in the chemical structure of the crosslinked polyethers after implantation. The biostability increased in the order poly(POx) < poly(THF-co-OX) < poly(THF) for the relatively hydrophobic polyethers. This confirmed our hypothesis that the absence of tertiary hydrogen atoms would improve the biostability. On the other hand, signs of biodegradation were observed for all polyether system studied. Infrared surface analysis showed that biodegradation was triggered by oxidative attack on the polymeric chain, leading to the formation of carboxylic ester and acid groups. It also was found that in the THF-based (co)polyethers, α-methylene groups were more sensitive than β-methylene groups. For a hydrophilic poly(THF)/PEO blend, an increase in surface PEO content was found, which might be due to preferential degradation of the PEO domains.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of biomedical materials research|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|