Crosslinking Characteristics Of An Injectable Poly(Propylene Fumarate)/ β-Tricalcium Phosphate Paste And Mechanical Properties Of The Crosslinked Composite For Use As A Biodegradable Bone Cement
We investigated the crosslinking characteristics of an injectable composite paste of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF), N-vinyl pyrrolidinone (N-VP), benzoyl peroxide (BP), sodium chloride (NaCl), and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP). We examined the effects of PPF molecular weight, N-VP/PPF ratio, BP/PPF ratio, and NaCl weight percent on the crosslinking temperature, heat release upon crosslinking, gel point, and the composite compressive strength and modulus. The maximum crosslinking temperature did not vary widely between formulations, with the absolute values falling between 38 and 48 °C, and was much lower than that of 94°C for poly(methyl methacrylate) bone cement controls tested under the same conditions. The total heat released upon crosslinking was decreased by an increase in PPF molecular weight and a decrease in N-VP/PPF ratio. The gel point was effected strongly by the PPF molecular weight, with a decrease in PPF molecular weight leading to a more rapid gel point. An increase in initiator concentration had the same effect to a lesser degree. The time frame for curing was varied from 1 -121 minutes, allowing the composite to be tailored to specific applications. The compressive strength and compressive modulus values increased with decreasing N-VP/PPF, increasing NaCl content, and increasing BP/PPF ratio. For all formulations, the compressive strength values fell between 1 and 12 MPa, and the compressive modulus values fell between 23 and 265 MPa. These data suggest that injectable PPF/β-TCP pastes can be prepared with handling characteristics appropriate for clinical orthopaedic applications and that the mechanical properties of the cured composites are suitable for trabecular bone replacement.