Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Mark Zimmerman

Second Advisor

Clarence W. Mayott

Third Advisor

J. Russell Parsons

Fourth Advisor

David S. Kristol


Two polysulfone composites were evaluated to determine their use as structural implants in orthopaedic surgery. The first composite, carbon fiber reinforced polysulfone (C/PS), was evaluated for environmental degradation in an in vivo and in vitro study. The C/PS composites were implanted subcutaneously in the abdomen of rabbits for the in vivo study and immersed in saline solution at 32° C for the in vitro study. The second composite, hydroxylapatite coated polysulfone (HA/PS), was evaluated for bone ingrowth in an in vivo study, and for attachment strength between the HA and the PS in an in vitro study. Also, two surface types were evaluated to determine which would yield optimal bone attachment. The first surface was a roughened surface that was created by imbedding HA particles in a PS rod. The second surface was a smooth surface where HA particles were imbedded in the PS rod, however, the surface of the composite was machined smooth. The implants were implanted transcortically in the femurs of rabbits for the in vivo study. Twelve rabbits were used, 4 for each of three time periods, 4, 12, and 26 weeks. For the in vitro HA/PS study the implants were potted in polymethylmethacrylate.



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