The strength of acrylic bone cement cured under thumb pressure

Biomaterials. 2004 Feb;25(5):943-7. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00578-7.


In this investigation, the static tensile strength of bone cement was quantified after mixing it in an open bowl or in a commercially available vacuum mixer and molding it under pressures consistent with values obtained by finger/digital application, as it is used in surgery. Pressure, held for a brief time span on cement in its lower viscosity state, has been demonstrated to increase penetration of the cement into bone. Clinically, bone cement is pressurized by digital pressure, specialized instruments, or by implant design. Specimens were cured under constant pressures of up to 100kPa, which is in the range reported for thumb pressurization of plugged proximal femurs and instrumented pressurization of acetabular sockets. The results showed that application of constant pressure during the polymerization of open bowl mixed bone cement significantly improved its mechanical properties. Application of 100kPa constant pressure to the open bowl mixed bone cement while it cured increased its ultimate strength to a value similar to vacuum mixed cement. Curing under pressure showed no significant effect on the tensile properties of vacuum mixed cement. Curing under pressure did not significantly reduce the size of the largest pores in the tensile specimens.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Materials Testing / methods*
  • Materials Testing / standards
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate / chemistry*
  • Pressure
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties
  • Tensile Strength
  • Thumb / physiology*


  • Polymethyl Methacrylate