Cells and Materials


Environmental and processing factors affecting the biostability of medical devices made from traditionally "stable" polymers, such as isotactic polypropylene (PP) and ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) , were analyzed and their undesirable degradation was related to performance of typical medical devices. Among the critical phenomena determining the biological performance of UHMW-PE and PP devices are oxidation during melt-processing and the propensity of the polymer chains to radiolyse and radio-oxidize. Polyesters and their biomedical devices , which can be designed to degrade predictably, are addressed with some focus on the less obvious determinants of performance.