Featured research (5)
Percutaneous Cement Discoplasty (PCD) is a surgical technique developed to relieve pain in patients with advanced degenerative disc disease characterized by a vacuum phenomenon. It has been hypothesized that injecting bone cement into the disc improves the overall stability of the spinal segment. However, there is limited knowledge on the biomechanics of the spine postoperatively and a lack of models to assess the effect of PCD ex-vivo . This study aimed to develop a biomechanical model to study PCD in a repeatable and clinically relevant manner. Eleven ovine functional spinal units were dissected and tested under compression in three conditions: healthy, injured and treated. Injury was induced by a papain buffer and the treatment was conducted using PMMA cement. Each sample was scanned with micro-computed tomography (CT) and segmented for the three conditions. Similar cement volumes (in %) were injected in the ovine samples compared to volumes measured on clinical PCD CT images. Anterior and posterior disc heights decreased on average by 22.5% and 23.9% after injury. After treatment, the anterior and posterior disc height was restored on average to 98.5% and 83.6%, respectively, of their original healthy height. Compression testing showed a similar stiffness behavior between samples in the same group. A decrease of 51.5% in segment stiffness was found after injury, as expected. The following PCD treatment was found to result in a restoration of stiffness—showing only a difference of 5% in comparison to the uninjured state. The developed ex-vivo model gave an adequate representation of the clinical vacuum phenomena in terms of volume, and a repeatable mechanical response between samples. Discoplasty treatment was found to give a restoration in stiffness after injury. The data presented confirm the effectiveness of the PCD procedure in terms of restoration of axial stiffness in the spinal segment. The model can be used in the future to test more complex loading scenarios, novel materials, and different surgical techniques.
Hip and knee joint replacements are common and largely successful procedures that utilise implants to restore mobility and relieve pain for patients suffering from e.g. osteoarthritis. However, metallic ions and particles released from both the bearing surfaces and non-articulating interfaces, as in modular components, can cause hypersensitivity and local tissue necrosis, while particles originating from a polymer component have been associated with aseptic loosening and osteolysis. Implant coatings have the potential to improve properties compared to both bulk metal and ceramic alternatives. Ceramic coatings have the potential to increase scratch resistance, enhance wettability and reduce wear of the articulating surfaces compared to the metallic substrate, whilst maintaining overall toughness of the implant ensuring a lower risk of catastrophic failure of the device compared to use of a bulk ceramic. Coatings can also act as barriers to inhibit ion release from the underlying material caused by corrosion. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of wear-resistant coatings for joint replacements – both those that are in current clinical use as well as those under investigation for future use. While the majority of coatings belong predominantly in the latter group, a few coated implants have been successfully marketed and are available for clinical use in specific applications. Commercially available coatings for implants include titanium nitride (TiN), titanium niobium nitride (TiNbN), oxidized zirconium (OxZr) and zirconium nitride (ZrN) based coatings, whereas current research is focused not only on these, but also on diamond-like-carbon (DLC), silicon nitride (SiN), chromium nitride (CrN) and tantalum-based coatings (TaN and TaO). The coating materials referred to above that are still at the research stage have been shown to be non-cytotoxic and to reduce wear in a laboratory setting. However, the adhesion of implant coatings remains a main area of concern, as poor adhesion can cause delamination and excessive wear. In clinical applications zirconium implant surfaces treated to achieve a zirconium oxide film and TiNbN coated implants have however been proven comparable to traditional cobalt chromium implants with regards to revision numbers. In addition, the chromium ion levels measured in the plasma of patients were lower and allergy symptoms were relieved. Therefore, coated implants could be considered an alternative to uncoated metal implants, in particular for patients with metal hypersensitivity. There have also been unsuccessful introductions to the market, such as DLC coated implants, and therefore this review also attempts to summarize the lessons learnt.
Synthetic bone models are used to train surgeons as well as to test new medical devices. However, currently available models do not accurately mimic the complex structure of trabecular bone, which can provide erroneous results. This study aimed to investigate the suitability of stereolithography (SLA) to produce synthetic trabecular bone. Samples were printed based on synchrotron micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) images of human bone, with scaling factors from 1 to 4.3. Structure replicability was assessed with micro-CT, and mechanical properties were evaluated by compression and screw pull-out tests. The overall geometry was well-replicated at scale 1.8, with a volume difference to the original model of <10%. However, scaling factors below 1.8 gave major print artefacts, and a low accuracy in trabecular thickness distribution. A comparison of the model–print overlap showed printing inaccuracies of ~20% for the 1.8 scale, visible as a loss of smaller details. SLA-printed parts exhibited a higher pull-out strength compared to existing synthetic models (Sawbones ™), and a lower strength compared to cadaveric specimens and fused deposition modelling (FDM)-printed parts in poly (lactic acid). In conclusion, for the same 3D model, SLA enabled higher resolution and printing of smaller scales compared to results reported by FDM.
In spite of the success of vertebroplasty (VP) and balloon kyphoplasty (BKP), which are widely used for stabilizing painful vertebral compression fractures, concerns have been raised about use of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cements for these procedures since the high compressive modulus of elasticity (E) of the cement is thought to be one of the causes of the higher number of adjacent-level vertebral fractures. Therefore, bone cements with E comparable to that of cancellous bone have been proposed. While the quasi-static compressive properties of these so-called “low-modulus” cements have been widely studied, their fatigue performance remains underassessed. The purpose of the present study was to critically a commercial bone cement (control cement) and its low-modulus counterpart on the basis of quasi-static compressive strength (CS), E, fatigue limit under compression-compression loading, and release of methyl methacrylate (MMA). At 24 h, mean CS and E of the low-modulus material were 72% and 77% lower than those of the control cement, whereas, at 4 weeks, mean CS and E were 60% and 54% lower, respectively. The fatigue limit of the control cement was estimated to be 43–45 MPa compared to 3–5 MPa for the low-modulus cement. The low-modulus cement showed an initial burst release of MMA after 24 h followed by a plateau, similar to many other commercially available cements, whereas the control cement showed a much lower, stable release from day 1 and up to 1 week. The low-modulus cement may be a promising alternative to currently available PMMA bone cements, with the potential for reducing the incidence of adjacent fractures following VP/BKP.
Acrylic bone cements modified with linoleic acid are a promising low-modulus alternative to traditional high-modulus bone cements. However, several key properties remain unexplored, including the effect of autoclave sterilization and the potential use of low-modulus cements in other applications than vertebral augmentation. In this work, we evaluate the effect of sterilization on the structure and stability of linoleic acid, as well as in the handling properties, glass transition temperature, mechanical properties, and screw augmentation potential of low-modulus cement containing the fatty acid. Neither 1H NMR nor SFC-MS/MS analysis showed any detectable differences in autoclaved linoleic acid compared to fresh one. The peak polymerization temperature of the low-modulus cement was much lower (28–30 °C) than that of the high-modulus cement (67 °C), whereas the setting time remained comparable (20–25 min). The Tg of the low-modulus cement was lower (75–78 °C) than that of the high-stiffness cement (103 °C). It was shown that sterilization of linoleic acid by autoclaving did not significantly affect the functional properties of low-modulus PMMA bone cement, making the component suitable for sterile production. Ultimately, the low-modulus cement exhibited handling and mechanical properties that more closely match those of osteoporotic vertebral bone with a screw holding capacity of under 2000 N, making it a promising alternative for use in combination with orthopedic hardware in applications where high-stiffness augmentation materials can result in undesired effects.
- Department of Materials Science and Engineering
About Cecilia Persson
- Cecilia Persson currently works at the Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University. Cecilia does research in Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Bioengineering.