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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2009

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 5/2009

Mechanical and Biological Evaluations of β-Tricalcium Phosphate/Silicone Rubber Composite as a Novel Soft-Tissue Implant

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery > Ausgabe 5/2009
Yi-ming Zhang, Shao-liang Wang, Ze-yuan Lei, Dong-li Fan



Although silicone rubber (SR) implants are most commonly used and effective for soft-tissue augmentation, they still have been implicated in many adverse reactions. To overcome this problem, a novel composite β-tricalcium phosphate/silicone rubber (β-TCP/SR) was prepared by adding β-TCP into a SR matrix. This study was to evaluate its application potential by investigating the mechanical properties and biocompatibility of β-TCP/SR.


Mechanical properties, including Shore A hardness and tensile strength, were evaluated with 3-mm-thick samples and a universal testing machine. Cytocompatibility tests were conducted in vitro using 0.2-mm-thick β-TCP/SR samples by seeding fibroblasts onto different samples. Soft-tissue response to β-TCP/SR and pull-out measurements were investigated 4 weeks and 24 weeks after implantation.


The main mechanical properties were all significantly changed after mixing β-TCP into the SR matrix, except for tearing strength. The cytocompatibility test showed enhanced adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts onto β-TCP/SR. Fibrous tissue ingrowth after resorption of β-TCP was observed by in vivo histologic analysis. The peri-implant capsules in the β-TCP/SR group were thinner than in the SR group 24 weeks after implantation. In a 24-week test, the maximum force required to pull out the β-TCP/SR sheet was about six times greater than that needed for SR.


Although some mechanical properties were significantly changed, the results of the cytocompatibility test and in vivo animal study still suggest that β-TCP/SR may be more suitable as a soft-tissue implant than SR and has the potential to be used in plastic surgery.

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