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Stabilization of multiple rib fractures in a canine model.

The Journal of surgical research (2014-09-27)
Ke-Nan Huang, Zhi-Fei Xu, Ju-Xian Sun, Xin-Yu Ding, Bin Wu, Wei Li, Xiong Qin, Hua Tang
ABSTRACT

Operative stabilization is frequently used in the clinical treatment of multiple rib fractures (MRF); however, no ideal material exists for use in this fixation. This study investigates a newly developed biodegradable plate system for the stabilization of MRF. Silk fiber-reinforced polycaprolactone (SF/PCL) plates were developed for rib fracture stabilization and studied using a canine flail chest model. Adult mongrel dogs were divided into three groups: one group received the SF/PCL plates, one group received standard clinical steel plates, and the final group did not undergo operative fracture stabilization (n = 6 for each group). Radiographic, mechanical, and histologic examination was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the biodegradable material for the stabilization of the rib fractures. No nonunion and no infections were found when using SF-PCL plates. The fracture sites collapsed in the untreated control group, leading to obvious chest wall deformity not encountered in the two groups that underwent operative stabilization. Our experimental study shows that the SF/PCL plate has the biocompatibility and mechanical strength suitable for fixation of MRF and is potentially ideal for the treatment of these injuries.

MATERIALS
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