Mechanical and biodegradable properties of porous titanium filled with poly-L-lactic acid by modified in situ polymerization technique

Masaaki Nakai, Mitsuo Niinomi, Daisuke Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Porous titanium (pTi) can possess a low Young's modulus equal to that of human bone, depending on its porosity. However, the mechanical strength of pTi deteriorates greatly with increasing porosity. On the other hand, certain medical polymers exhibit biofunctionalities, which are not possessed intrinsically by metallic materials. Therefore, a biodegradable medical polymer, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), was used to fill in the pTi pores using a modified in-situ polymerization technique. The mechanical and biodegradable properties of pTi filled with PLLA (pTi/PLLA) as fabricated by this technique and the effects of the PLLA filling were evaluated in this study.The pTi pores are almost completely filled with PLLA by the developed process (i.e., technique). The tensile strength and tensile Young's modulus of pTi barely changes with the PLLA filling. However, the PLLA filling improves the compressive 0.2% proof stress of pTi having any porosity and increases the compressive Young's modulus of pTi having relatively high porosity. This difference between the tensile and compressive properties of pTi/PLLA is considered to be caused by the differing resistances of PLLA in the pores to tensile and compressive deformations. The PLLA filled into the pTi pores degrades during immersion in Hanks' solution at 310 K. The weight loss due to PLLA degradation increases with increasing immersion time. However, the rate of weight loss of pTi/PLLA during immersion decreases with increasing immersion time. Hydroxyapatite formation is observed on the surface of pTi/PLLA after immersion for ≥8 weeks. The decrease in the weight-loss rate may be caused by weight gain due to hydroxyapatite formation and/or the decrease in contact area with Hanks' solution caused by its formation on the surface of pTi/PLLA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1218
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct


  • Biodegradable property
  • Biomaterial
  • Low Young's modulus
  • Mechanical property
  • Poly-L-lactic acid
  • Porous material
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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