There are a number of drawbacks to incorporating large concentrations of barium sulfate (BaSO4) as the radiopacifier in PMMA-based bone cements for percutaneous vertebroplasty. These include adverse effects on injectability, viscosity profile, setting time, mechanical properties of the cement and bone resorption. We have synthesized a novel cement that is designed to address some of these drawbacks. Its powder includes PMMA microspheres in which gold particles are embedded and its monomer is the same as that used in commercial cements for vertebroplasty. In comparison to one such commercial cement brand, VertaPlex (TM), the new cement has longer doughing time, longer injection time, higher compressive strength, higher compressive modulus, and is superior in terms of cytotoxicity. For augmentation of fractured fresh-frozen cadaveric vertebral bodies (T6-L5) using simulated vertebroplasty, results for compressive strength and compressive stiffness of the construct and the percentage of the volume of the vertebral body filled by the cement were comparable for the two cements although the radiopacity of the new cement was significantly lower than that for VertaPlex (TM). The present results indicate that the new cement warrants further study.
- Bone cement
- Injectable cement