Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement is widely used in vertebral body augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty. Filling high modulus PMMA increases the modulus of filled verterbra, increasing the risk of fracture in the adjacent vertebra. On the other hand, in porous PMMA bone cements, wear particle generation and deterioration of mechanical performance are the major drawbacks. This study adopts a new approach by utilizing linoleic acid coated strontium substituted hydroxyapatite nanoparticle (Sr-5 HA) and linoleic acid as plasticizer reducing bone cement's modulus with minimal impact on its strength. We determined the compressive strength (UCS) and modulus (Ec), hydrophobicity, injectability, in vitro bioactivity and biocompatibility of this bone cement at different filler and linoleic acid loading. At 20 wt % Sr5-HA incorporation, UCS and Ec were reduced from 63 ± 2 MPa, 2142 ± 129 MPa to 58 ± 2 MPa, 1785 ± 64 MPa, respectively. UCS and Ec were further reduced to 49 ± 2 MPa and 774 ± 70 MPa respectively when 15 v/v of linoleic acid was incorporated. After 7 days of incubation, pre-osteoblast cells (MC3T3-E1) attached on 20 wt % Sr5-HA and 20 wt % Sr5-HA with 15 v/v of linoleic acid group were higher (3.73 ± 0.01 x 10⁴, 2.27 ± 0.02 x 10⁴) than their PMMA counterpart (1.83 ± 0.04 x 10⁴). Incorporation of Sr5-HA with linoleic acid in monomer phase is more effective in reducing the bone cement's stiffness than Sr5-HA alone. Combination of low stiffness and high mechanical strength gives the novel bone cement the potential for use in vertebroplasty cement applications.
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