Improved mechanical properties of acrylic bone cement with short titanium fiber reinforcement

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Acrylic bone cements are widely used in total joint arthroplasties to grout the prosthesis to bone. The changes in the tensile properties and fracture toughness of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cements obtained by the addition of control and heat treated short titanium fibers are studied. Heat treatment of titanium fibers is conducted to precipitate titania particles on the fiber surface, which may improve the biocompatibility of the metal. Control (non-heat treated) and heat treated short titanium fibers (250 μm long and 20μm diameter) were used as reinforcements at 3 volume %. X-ray diffraction indicated the presence of a rutile form of titania due to the heat treatments. Results indicate that the tensile and fracture properties of unfilled bone cement were improved by the addition of control and heat-treated fibers. The fracture properties of bone cements reinforced with control titanium fibers were at least 10% higher than those reinforced with heat treated titanium fibers. Therefore, we recommend further studies on the use of non-heat treated titanium fibers to reinforce acrylic bone cement.

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