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J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2014 Jan;29:451-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Modification of acrylic bone cement with mesoporous silica nanoparticles: effects on mechanical, fatigue and absorption properties.

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  • 1Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, United States. Electronic address:


Polymethyl methacrylate bone cement is the most common and successful method used to anchor orthopedic implants to bone, as evidenced by data from long-term national joint registries. Despite these successes, mechanical failure of the cement mantle can result in premature failure of an implant which has lead to the development of a variety of techniques aimed at enhancing the mechanical properties of the cement, such as the addition of particulate or fiber reinforcements. This technique however has not transitioned into clinical practice, likely due to problems relating to interfacial particle/matrix adhesion and high cement stiffness. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are a class of materials that have received little attention as polymer reinforcements despite their potential ability to overcome these challenges. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) as a reinforcement material within acrylic bone cement. Three different MSN loading ratios (0.5%, 2% and 5% (wt/wt)) were incorporated into a commercially available bone cement and the resulting impact on the cement's static mechanical properties, fatigue life and absorption/elution properties were quantified. The flexural modulus and compressive strength and modulus tended to increase with higher MSN concentration. Conversely, the flexural strength, fracture toughness and work to fracture all significantly decreased with increasing MSN content. The fatigue properties were found to be highly influenced by MSNs, with substantial detrimental effects seen with high MSN loadings. The incorporation of 5% MSNs significantly increased cement's hydration degree and elution percentage. The obtained results suggest that the interfacial adhesion strength between the nanoparticles and the polymer matrix was poor, leading to a decrease in the flexural and fatigue properties, or that adequate dispersion of the MSNs was not achieved. These findings could potentially be mitigated in future work by chemically modifying the mesoporous silica with functional groups.


Acrylic bone cement; Fatigue; Fracture toughness; Implant fixation; Mesoporous silica

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