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A Bone Glue with Sustained Adhesion under Wet Conditions



Bone glues often suffer from low adhesion to bone under wet conditions. This study aims to improve wet adhesiveness of a bone glue based on a photocurable poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate matrix through in situ interpenetrating network formation by addition of six-armed isocyanate functional star-shaped prepolymers (NCO-sP(EO-stat-PO)). Biodegradable ceramic fillers are added to adjust the paste workability. The 3-point bending strength of the bone glues is in the range of 3.5–5.5 MPa and not significantly affected by the addition of NCO-sP(EO-stat-PO). Storage in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) decreases the bending strength of all formulations to approximately 1 MPa but the adhesion to cortical bone increases from 0.15–0.2 to 0.3–0.5 MPa after adding 20–40 wt% NCO-sP(EO-stat-PO) to the matrix. Bone glues without the NCO-sP(EO-stat-PO) additive lose their adhesiveness to bone after aging in PBS for 7 days, whereas modified glues maintain a shear strength of 0.18–0.25 MPa demonstrating the efficacy of the approach. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy investigations of the fracture surfaces prove a high amount of residual adhesive on the bone surface indicating that adhesion to the bone under wet conditions is stronger than cohesion.