In vivo degradation of porous poly(propylene fumarate)/poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) composite scaffolds
This study investigated the in vivo degradation of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF)/poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) composite scaffolds designed for controlled release of osteogenic factors. PPF/PLGA composites were implanted into 15.0 mm segmental defects in the rabbit radius, harvested after 12 and 18 weeks, and analyzed using histological techniques to assess the extent of polymer degradation as well as the tissue response within the pores of the scaffolds. Polymer degradation was limited to micro-fragmentation of the scaffold at the ends and edges of the implant at both 12 and 18 weeks. The tissue within the pores of the scaffold consisted of fibrous tissue, blood vessels and some inflammatory cells. In areas where polymer breakdown was evident, an increased inflammatory response was observed. In contrast, areas of bone ingrowth into the polymer scaffold were characterized by minimal inflammatory response and polymer degradation. Our results show that minimal degradation of porous PPF occurs within 18 weeks of implantation in a rabbit model. Further, the in vivo degradation data of porous PPF/PLGA scaffolds are comparable with earlier obtained in vitro data.