Evaluation of two novel aluminum-free, zinc-based glass polyalkenoate cements as alternatives to PMMA bone cement for use in vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty

  • Gladius Lewis
  • Mark R. Towler
  • Daniel Boyd
  • Matthew J. German
  • Anthony W. Wren
  • Owen M. Clarkin
  • Andrew Yates


Vertebroplasty (VP) and balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) are now widely used for treating patients in whom the pain due to vertebral compression fractures is severe and has proved to be refractory to conservative treatment. These procedures involve percutaneous delivery of a bolus of an injectable bone cement either directly to the fractured vertebral body, VB (VP) or to a void created in it by an inflatable bone tamp (BKP). Thus, the cement is a vital component of both procedures. In the vast majority of VPs and BKPs, a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement is used. This material has many shortcomings, notably lack of bioactivity and very limited resorbability. Thus, there is room for alternative cements. We report here on two variants of a novel, bioactive, Al-free, Zn-based glass polyalkenoate cement (Zn-GPC), and how their properties compare to those of an injectable PMMA bone cement (SIMPL) that is widely used in VP and BKP. The properties determined were injectability, radiopacity, uniaxial compressive strength, and biaxial flexural modulus. In addition, we compared the compression fatigue lives of a validated synthetic osteoporotic VB model (a polyurethane foam cube with an 8 mm-diameter through-thickness cylindrical hole), at 0–2300 N and 3 Hz, when the hole was filled with each of the three cements. A critical review of the results suggests that the performance of each of the Zn-GPCs is comparable to that of SIMPL; thus, the former cements merit further study with a view to being alternatives to an injectable PMMA cement for use in VP and BKP.


Uniaxial Compressive Strength Bone Cement Fracture Vertebral Body Balloon Kyphoplasty Augmentation Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Mr. Yuan Li and Dr. Si Janna, for their contributions to the compression cyclic fatigue life testing and the financial assistance of Enterprise Ireland for facilitating this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gladius Lewis
    • 1
  • Mark R. Towler
    • 2
  • Daniel Boyd
    • 3
  • Matthew J. German
    • 4
  • Anthony W. Wren
    • 2
  • Owen M. Clarkin
    • 2
  • Andrew Yates
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Materials and Surface Science InstituteUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  3. 3.Medical Engineering Design Innovation CentreCork Institute of TechnologyCorkIreland
  4. 4.Dental Materials Unit, School of Dental SciencesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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