Mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite reinforced poly(ethylmethacrylate) bone cement after immersion in a physiological solution: influence of a silane coupling agent
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- Harper, E.J., Braden, M. & Bonfield*, W. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine (2000) 11: 491. doi:10.1023/A:1013057724268
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PEMA–based bone cement has previously been shown to possess many advantages over traditional PMMA cements. One of these is the option of adding up to 40 wt % HA without a decrease in static mechanical strength, thus providing the potential for enhanced bioactivity. Bone cement, in vivo, is subjected to an aqueous environment and therefore, it is important to understand the influence of this upon the mechanical integrity of experimental cements. In this current investigation the static and dynamic properties of PEMA cement, with and without 30 wt % untreated and silanated HA, were examined after periods of immersion in Ringer’s solution. A commercial PMMA cement was also tested in a similar manner. Relatively small changes in static mechanical properties were observed after 12 weeks storage for the PEMA cements, the largest change being for the PEMA cement reinforced with silanated HA. The PMMA cement exhibited the largest change in static strength with a decrease of 16.6%. In contrast to these results, the fatigue properties of the PEMA cements were found to decrease significantly after storage in Ringer’s solution, again with the largest changes to the PEMA cement reinforced with silanated HA. This effect was attributed to the reduction in efficiency of the silane coupling agent in the presence of water. The fatigue resistance of the PMMA cement was not reduced after immersion in a saline environment.