This paper deals with the effect of water absorption on the mechanical performance of selectively biodegradable filament-wound composite soft tissue prostheses. It shows how the water absorption phenomenon can be utilized as a new concept of material design, in contrast to the current view that associates moisture absorption by composite materials exclusively with damage. Harnessing water absorption to property design of vascular grafts has two advantages. The first is the controlled increase of the compliance of the graft during healing, aiming to reach a final stage of isocompliance with the host artery. The second is the water-induced biodegradation which enables regulation of the mural porosity during healing of an initially impervious graft. Filament-wound composite vascular prostheses comprising partially biodegradable matrices, different compositions and various winding angles are studied. Water absorption and material degradation are expressed in terms of relative weight gain/loss, which in turn is correlated with changes in the compliance and in the ultimate strength of the grafts.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine|
|State||Published - May 1993|