Document Detail

A review of the biostability and carcinogenicity of polyurethanes in medicine and the new generation of 'biostable' polyurethanes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7986779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Polyurethanes are very versatile materials which have been used in the body for over 20 years. In fact, there are probably more scientific papers describing these materials and modifications of these materials for medical use than any other material to date. Unfortunately, some formulations of these polymers are subject to biodegradation and have limited their application in the body. Extensive investigation of the biodegradation mechanisms of these polymers by many researchers in the field has led to the development of a new generation of what are now called 'biostable' polyurethanes. This article reviews the history of polyurethane in medicine, polyurethane nomenclature, the biodegradation of these materials, the proposed mechanisms of its degradation as well as the carcinogenicity associated with these materials. Included in the discussion are the polyurethanes used as pacemaker lead insulators as well as those used to coat breast implants. The article concludes with a review of the new generation of 'biostable' polyurethanes and their proposed formulations.
L Pinchuk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition     Volume:  6     ISSN:  0920-5063     ISO Abbreviation:  J Biomater Sci Polym Ed     Publication Date:  1994  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-01-11     Completed Date:  1995-01-11     Revised Date:  2008-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007393     Medline TA:  J Biomater Sci Polym Ed     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  225-67     Citation Subset:  IM    
Corvita Corporation, Miami, FL 33122.
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MeSH Terms
Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects*,  toxicity
Biodegradation, Environmental
Carcinogenicity Tests
Cations / metabolism
Foreign-Body Reaction
Molecular Structure
Molecular Weight
Neoplasms / chemically induced*
Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
Polyurethanes / adverse effects*,  chemistry,  classification,  toxicity
Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
Species Specificity
Stress, Mechanical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biocompatible Materials; 0/Cations; 0/Polyurethanes

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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