Degradation of medical‐grade polyurethane elastomers: The effect of hydrogen peroxide in vitro

Gordon F. Meijs, Simon J. McCarthy, Ezio Rizzardo, Yi‐Chi ‐C Chen, Ronald C. Chatelier, Arthur Brandwood, Klaus Schindhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Treatment of Pellethane 2363‐80A—a medical‐grade poly(tetramethylene oxide)‐based polyurethane elastomer—with 25% (w/w) hydrogen peroxide at 100°C for times ranging from 24 h to 336 h led to significant decreases in ultimate tensile properties and decreases in molecular weight, both at the surface and in the bulk. IR spectral changes were similar to those observed after degradation in vivo. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that hydrogen‐peroxideinduced degradation was associated with greater order in the hard domain and greater mobility in the soft domain. Studies conducted with low‐molecular‐weight model compounds for the hard and soft segments confirmed that methylene groups adjacent to oxygen were susceptible toward oxidation. The extent of degradation of a series of commercial polyurethanes on treatment with hydrogen peroxide (25%, 24 h, 100°C) correlated well with their reported susceptibility to environmental stress cracking in vivo. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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