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Keywords:

  • low modulus PMMA;
  • porous material;
  • polymerization temperature;
  • injectability;
  • monomer release

Abstract

The use of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement to reinforce fragile or broken vertebral bodies (vertebroplasty) leads to extensive bone stiffening. Fractures in the adjacent vertebrae may be the consequence of this procedure. PMMA with a reduced Young's modulus may be more suitable. The goal of this study was to produce and characterize stiffness adapted PMMA bone cements. Porous PMMA bone cements were produced by combining PMMA with various volume fractions of an aqueous sodium hyaluronate solution. Porosity, Young's modulus, yield strength, polymerization temperature, setting time, viscosity, injectability, and monomer release of those porous cements were investigated. Samples presented pores with diameters in the range of 25–260 μm and porosity up to 56%. Young's modulus and yield strength decreased from 930 to 50 MPa and from 39 to 1.3 MPa between 0 and 56% porosity, respectively. The polymerization temperature decreased from 68°C (0%, regular cement) to 41°C for cement having 30% aqueous fraction. Setting time decreased from 1020 s (0%, regular cement) to 720 s for the 30% composition. Viscosity of the 30% composition (145 Pa s) was higher than the ones received from regular cement and the 45% composition (100–125 Pa s). The monomer release was in the range of 4–10 mg/mL for all porosities; showing no higher release for the porous materials. The generation of pores using an aqueous gel seems to be a promising method to make the PMMA cement more compliant and lower its mechanical properties to values close to those of cancellous bone. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2008