ASTM F2502 - 11

    Standard Specification and Test Methods for Absorbable Plates and Screws for Internal Fixation Implants

    Active Standard ASTM F2502 | Developed by Subcommittee: F04.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 13.02


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    Significance and Use

    Absorbable devices are intended to degrade and absorb over time once they are implanted into the body. This makes a removal operation unnecessary, which is especially advantageous for pediatric patients.

    While the polymer degrades due to hydrolytic reaction with the environment, the mechanical performance of the device also deteriorates. The key to developing mechanically effective fracture fixation systems based on absorbable devices is to provide an adequate level of fixation strength and stiffness for a time frame that exceeds that expected for fracture healing. Once the fracture is healed, the device can be completely absorbed by the body. The biological performance of the device, particularly for application at a bony site, may be enhanced by incorporation of bioactive fillers in the polymer.

    Absorbable devices will be tested using test methods that are similar to those used to evaluate conventional metallic devices. The pre-test conditioning requirements, handling requirements, and time-dependent mechanical property evaluations for absorbable devices shall be considered.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This specification and test methods cover the mechanical characterization of plates and screws for orthopedic internal fixation. Covered devices are fabricated from one or more hydrolytically degradable polymer (from this point on referred to as absorbable) resins or resin composites.

    1.2 This specification establishes a common terminology to describe the size and other physical characteristics of absorbable implants and performance definitions related to the performance of absorbable devices.

    1.3 This specification establishes standard test methods to consistently measure performance-related mechanical characteristics of absorbable devices when tested under defined conditions of pretreatment, temperature, humidity, and testing machine speed.

    1.4 This specification may not be appropriate for all absorbable devices, especially those that possess limited hydrolytic susceptibility and degrade in vivo primarily through enzymatic action. The user is cautioned to consider the appropriateness of the standard in view of the particular absorbable device and its potential application.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D790 Test Methods for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials

    E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing

    E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process

    E1823 Terminology Relating to Fatigue and Fracture Testing

    F116 Specification for Medical Screwdriver Bits

    F382 Specification and Test Method for Metallic Bone Plates

    F543 Specification and Test Methods for Metallic Medical Bone Screws

    F565 Practice for Care and Handling of Orthopedic Implants and Instruments

    F1088 Specification for Beta-Tricalcium Phosphate for Surgical Implantation

    F1185 Specification for Composition of Hydroxylapatite for Surgical Implants

    F1635 Test Method for in vitro Degradation Testing of Hydrolytically Degradable Polymer Resins and Fabricated Forms for Surgical Implants

    F1839 Specification for Rigid Polyurethane Foam for Use as a Standard Material for Testing Orthopaedic Devices and Instruments

    F1925 Specification for Semi-Crystalline Poly(lactide) Polymer and Copolymer Resins for Surgical Implants

    ISO Standards

    ISO15814 Copolymers and Blends Based on Polylactide--In Vitro Degradation Testing


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 11.040.40 (Implants for surgery, prothetics and orthotics)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 42295500(Surgical implants and expanders and extenders and surgical wires and related products)


    DOI: 10.1520/F2502-11

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