Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The use of acrylic bone cement has a number of shortcomings, viz., high curing temperatures that can cause thermal necrosis, release of toxic monomer, and a less than perfect cement-to-bone bond. However, by modifying the cement composition through the addition of a soluble, nontoxic filler such as sucrose or tricalcium phosphate which does not impair the workability of the material during surgery, a significant improvement in the performance of the cement can be achieved.Because the filler replaces part of the acrylic components, less heat is generated during curing while the filler itself acts as a heat sink. Also, less monomer, proportional to the amount replaced by the filler, diffuses from the implant site.Upon elution of the filler, a porous cement will be obtained provided that a critical minimum percentage loading is exceeded so that the filler crystals will make physical contact with each other. The value of this percentage depends on both crystal modification and size. In the 125-175 μm sucrose crystal size range, the critical minimum percentage lies in the range of 20-28 wt % loading. Above 30%, the interconnecting pore size increases sharply to a value which allows good tissue ingrowth into the pores.The introduction of filler and pores causes a drop in strength, but the diametral tensile strength of modified cement containing up to 40% pores and sucrose lies between .7 and 1.5 kg/mm2, respectively, which is still in the same range as that of bone.
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