Background: The development of endoluminal stents from polymeric materials requires an understanding of the basic mechanical properties of the polymer and the effects of manufacturing and sterilization on those properties. Methods: Pure poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and PLLA containing varying amounts of triethylcitrate (TEC) as a plasticizer (5-10-15%) were studied. The specimens were solution-cast and laser-cut. Specimen dimensions were adapted to the strut size of polymeric vascular stents. The properties of the PLLA micro-specimens were assessed before and after sterilization (EtO cold gas, -plasma, beta- and gamma-irradiation). Tensile tests, and creep and recovery tests were carried out at 37°C. Additionally the thermal and thermo-mechanical characteristics were investigated using dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Results: The results showed the dramatic influence of the plasticizer content and sterilization procedure on the mechanical properties of the material. Laser cutting had a lesser effect. Hence the effects of processing and sterilization must not be overlooked in the material selection and design phases of the development process leading to clinical use. Altogether, the results of these studies provide a clearer understanding of the complex interaction between the laser machining process and terminal sterilization on the primary mechanical properties of PLLA and PLLA plasticized with TEC.
Mechanical Properties of Laser Cut Poly(L-Lactide) Micro-Specimens: Implications for Stent Design, Manufacture, and Sterilization
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division January 23, 2004; revised manuscript received September 3, 2004. Associate Editor: David J. Beebe.
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Grabow, N., Schlun , M., Sternberg , K., Hakansson , N., Kramer , S., and Schmitz, K. (March 8, 2005). "Mechanical Properties of Laser Cut Poly(L-Lactide) Micro-Specimens: Implications for Stent Design, Manufacture, and Sterilization ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. February 2005; 127(1): 25–31. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1835349
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