, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 721-731,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Oct 2012

Mechanical, rheological, fatigue, and degradation behavior of PLLA, PGLA and PDGLA as materials for vascular implants


The biggest challenge in the treatment of arterial stenosis remains the issue of optimization of stent design. Despite continuous improvement in surgical techniques and use of intensive pharmacotherapy, the results of stent coronary interventions may be unsatisfactory, and long-term interaction of a metal implant with a blood vessel results in complications such as recurrent stenosis and thrombosis. Therefore, it is necessary to search for new materials and stent designs to obtain a stent capable of restoring flow in the vessel and disappearing after fulfilling its function. Such stent must also be compatible with the vessel wall to enable regeneration of new structure of endothelium and deeper artery layers damaged during implantation. Consequently, there is ongoing search for functional solutions with minimum effects of long-term implant-tissue interaction. In light of the above, the team investigated the possibility of using biodegradable polymers already mentioned in the literature as a construction material for vascular stent. The study used three polyhydroxyacids based on lactic acid and glycolic acid: poly(l-lactide), poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide). The research focused on assessing changes in mechanical, thermomechanical, rheological, and fatigue properties during the process of hydrolytic degradation. The analysis also covered the rate of release of degradation products. The results of the conducted tests indicate the possibility of developing a vascular stent with biodegradable polymers.