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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Orthopedic Biodegradable Implants
Ami R. Amini
Institute for Regenerative Engineering, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT.
James S. Wallace
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Syam P. Nukavarapu
Institute for Regenerative Engineering, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT. ; Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
Presently, orthopedic and oral/maxillofacial implants represent a combined $2.8 billion market, a figure expected to experience significant and continued growth. Although traditional permanent implants have been proved clinically efficacious, they are also associated with several drawbacks, including secondary revision and removal surgeries. Non-permanent, biodegradable implants offer a promising alternative for patients, as they provide temporary support and degrade at a rate matching tissue formation, and thus, eliminate the need for secondary surgeries. These implants have been in clinical use for nearly 25 years, competing directly with, or maybe even exceeding, the performance of permanent implants. The initial implantation of biodegradable materials, as with permanent materials, mounts an acute host inflammatory response. Over time, the implant degradation profile and possible degradation product toxicity mediate long-term biodegradable implant-induced inflammation. However, unlike permanent implants, this inflammation is likely to cease once the material disappears. Implant-mediated inflammation is a critical determinant for implant success. Thus, for the development of a proactive biodegradable implant that has the ability to promote optimal bone regeneration and minimal detrimental inflammation, a thorough understanding of short- and long-term inflammatory events is required. Here, we discuss an array of biodegradable orthopedic implants, their associated short- and long- term inflammatory effects, and methods to mediate these inflammatory events.
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