Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Clarence W. Mayott

Second Advisor

Harold Alexander

Third Advisor

Kwabena A. Narh

Abstract

The mechanical properties of a new class of bioabsorbable polymer-composite based on the amino acid tyrosine and calcium phosphate fibers were studied. The effect of the fiber aspect ratio on the elastic modulus of a discontinuous fiber composite was analyzed using the SMC composite micromechanics computer model. The mechanical stiffness of this polymer was found to be superior to that of poly-p-dioxanone, caprolactone and poly-o-ester.

The fiber surface was modified with methane plasma spray to improve the fiber-matrix coupling. The treated fiber composites had 16-40% higher tensile modulus than the untreated fiber composites. From the flexural test results it is suspected that the compression modulus is greater than tensile. The use of these innovative materials in fixation devices could eliminate a second surgery to retrieve the implant, eliminate the corrosion problems with metallic devices and provide load transfer to the healing bone, minimizing stress protection atrophy.

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