Influence of the method of blending an antibiotic powder with an acrylic bone cement powder on physical, mechanical, and thermal properties of the cured cement
Two variants of antibiotic powder-loaded acrylic bone cements (APLBCs) are widely used in primary total joint replacements. In the United States, the antibiotic is manually blended with the powder of the cement at the start of the procedure, while, in Europe, pre-packaged commercially-available APLBCs (in which the blending is carried out using an industrial mixer) are used. Our objective was to investigate the influence of the method of blending gentamicin sulphate with the powder of the Cemex® XL formulation on a wide collection of properties of the cured cement. The blending methods used were manual mixing (the MANUAL Set), use of a small-scale, easy-to-use, commercially-available mechanical powder mixer, OmoMix®1 (the MECHANICAL Set), and use of a large-scale industrial mixer (Cemex®Genta) [the INDUSTRIAL Set]. In the MECHANICAL and MANUAL Sets, the blending time was 3 min. In preparing the test specimens for each set, the blended powder used contained 4.22 wt% of the gentamicin powder. The properties determined were the strength, modulus, and work-to-fracture (all obtained under four-point bending), plane-strain fracture toughness, Weibull mean fatigue life (fatigue conditions: ±15 MPa; 2 Hz), activation energy and frequency factor for the cement polymerization process (both determined using differential scanning calorimetry, at heating rates of 5, 10, 15, and 20 K min−1), the diffusion coefficient for the absorption of phosphate buffered saline, PBS, at 37 °C, and the rate of elution of the gentamicin into PBS, at 37 °C (E). Also determined were the particle size, particle size distribution, and morphology of the blended powders and of the gentamicin. For each of the cured cement properties (except for E), there is no statistically significant difference between the means for the 3 cements, a finding that parallels the observation that there are no significant differences in either the mean particle size or the morphology of the blended cement powders. Notwithstanding these results, it is suggested that when the powder mixture is blended in the operating room, using the OmoMix®1 is more likely to produce a more consistent and reproducible mixture than when manual mixing is used.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 26, Issue 20, July 2005, Pages 4317–4325