In vitro study of drug-loaded bioresorbable films and support structures

M. Zilberman, R. C. Eberhart, N. D. Schwade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Bioresorbable films can serve simultaneously as anatomic support structures and as drug delivery platforms. In the present study, bioresorbable poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) films containing dexamethasone were prepared by solution processing methods. Their in vitro studies focused on the mechanical properties with respect to morphology and degradation and erosion processes. Novel expandable support devices (stents) developed from these films were studied. Such a stent would support conduits, such as the neonatal trachea to treat tracheal malacia, until the airway matures, and would then be totally resorbed, obviating the need for a removal operation. The PLLA films showed good initial mechanical properties. They can accommodate drug incorporation on the film surface and also in the bulk. Water incubation of the films results in a decrease in their tensile mechanical properties, due to chain scission and morphological changes. These changes can vary from degradation and small changes in morphological features to erosion, leading to a microporous structure, depending on the polymer. The cumulative release of dexamethasone from the films is linear. The rate of release is determined by the film's structure (drug location/dispersion). The stents demonstrated good mechanical properties. The initial radial compression strength of the stent is determined mainly by the polymer structure. Drug incorporation has a minor effect on the initial stent strength. Exposure to radial compression stress results in elastic reversible deformation or a sudden brittle fracture, depending on the polymer. A 20-week in vitro study of the stents showed that they are applicable for supporting body conduits, such as the trachea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1240
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2002


  • Bioresorbable films
  • Dexamethasone
  • Mechanical properties
  • Poly(L-lactic acid)
  • Stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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