Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bone Cements

Reports are starting to appear of a new bone cement. The reports are all complimentary in that the material is an injectable fluid that quickly sets. However, these reports overlook one key issue and that is the thermodynamics of the reaction, specifically is there an exotherm and how large is it?

I worked briefly with bone cements while with my last employer (Envoy Medical), where we were using the cements to attach the implanted device to the various bones in the middle ear. We looked at a wide range of chemistries, and had several that, like this new material, were liquids and set very quickly but they provided excessive amounts of heat - not a good thing to have against living tissue. While this new chemistry looks exciting, I am curious about the exotherm that it generates. Any reaction that occurs quickly will generate all its heat quickly which is never appropriate for implantation.

4 comments:

Eric F. Brown said...

Maybe it's a dry heat.

John said...

You still have Santa Fe on your mind.

gdr0523 said...

Have you heard about Kryptonite bone cement? It is a low exotherm cement made out of castor beans and calcium carbonate. It is bioabsorbable and allows bone growth.

John said...

But how fast does it cure?

The trade-off always seems to be heat vs. speed. If someone can break that paradigm, they have a winner.