Evaluation of a nontoxic rigid polymer as connecting bar in external skeletal fixators

Veterinary Surgery : VS
Christoph K StörkMarc H Balligand


To investigate the mechanical characteristics of a nontoxic, low-cost, rigid polymer (RP) and to compare the structural and mechanical properties of a full-frame external skeletal fixator (ESF) with either RP connecting bars, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) connecting bars, or stainless-steel (SS) clamps and connecting bars. In vitro mechanical evaluation. Mechanical properties were assessed using an in vitro bone fracture model with a bilateral uniplanar ESF (type II). Identical ESF were built with connecting bars using RP (n = 8), PMMA (n = 8), and SS connecting bars and clamps (System Meynard; n = 3). Nondestructive mechanical tests were performed in uniaxial compression (AC) and craniocaudal (CC) 4-point bending, as well as fatigue AC. Composite stiffness for each specimen and for each loading mode was calculated from 6 replicate measures using the slope of the load displacement curve at small displacements. RP, PMMA, and SS ESF constructs yielded mean +/- SD composite stiffness values of 227 +/- 15, 381 +/- 30, and 394 +/- 9 N/mm in AC and of 35 +/- 2, 24 +/- 2, and 15 +/- 0 N/mm in CC, respectively. Structural and mechanical properties of RP are satisfactorily rigid and fatigue resistant for its use as a connecting bar in E...Continue Reading


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