Application of Biodegradable Materials in Orthopedics



To compare the advantages and disadvantages of biodegradable and non-degradable implants in orthopedic fractures.


Recent original articles about biodegradable and non-degradable implants for fracture fixation were reviewed extensively, and a comprehensive retrospective analysis was performed.


Standard orthopedic treatment is to use non-degradable metal implants to fixate the fracture site. This kind of treatment not only causes rejection and stress shielding, but also requires a second surgery to remove the metal implants. In addition, this kind of treatment increases physical pain and is a serious financial burden to patients. However, biodegradable implants do not require a second surgery for removal and have good biocompatibility and osteoconductivity.


Biodegradable implants do not require a second surgery for removal and have good biocompatibility and osteoconductivity. Consequently, they are an ideal treatment and are increasingly used for orthopedic surgical patients. The most common indications for biodegradable implants include craniofacial reconstruction, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, meniscus repair, ankle fracture treatment, and tibia and fibula fracture treatment.

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We wish to thank Professor Min-Fang Chen, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology for advice on revising manuscript. The work was supported by the Projects from National Natural Foundation Fund (11432016, 11602172, 51871166). The work was supported by the Projects from National Natural Foundation Fund (Grant Nos. 11432016, 11602172).


Projects from National Natural Foundation Fund (Grant Nos. 11432016, 11602172)

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CY and CZ contributed significantly to the search for references, analysis and manuscript preparation. JL performed the data analyses and wrote the manuscript. CD helped perform the analysis with constructive discussion and approved the final version. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Cheng-Fei Du.

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Li, JW., Du, CF., Yuchi, CX. et al. Application of Biodegradable Materials in Orthopedics. J. Med. Biol. Eng. 39, 633–645 (2019).

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  • Fractures
  • Metal implants
  • Biodegradable implants
  • Orthopedics