Performance of Calcium Phosphate Cements in the Augmentation of Sheep Vertebrae : An Ex Vivo Study

Oil-based calcium phosphate cement (Paste-CPC) shows not only prolonged shelf life and injection times, but also improved cohesion and reproducibility during application, while retaining the advantages of fast setting, mechanical strength, and biocompatibility. In addition, poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) fiber reinforcement may decrease the risk for local extrusion. Bone defects (diameter 5 mm; depth 15 mm) generated ex vivo in lumbar (L) spines of female Merino sheep (2-4 years) were augmented using: (i) water-based CPC with 10% PLGA fiber reinforcement (L3); (ii) Paste-CPC (L4); or (iii) clinically established polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cement (L5). Untouched (L1) and empty vertebrae (L2) served as controls. Cement performance was analyzed using micro-computed tomography, histology, and biomechanical testing. Extrusion was comparable for Paste-CPC(-PLGA) and PMMA, but significantly lower for CPC + PLGA. Compressive strength and Young's modulus were similar for Paste-CPC and PMMA, but significantly higher compared to those for empty defects and/or CPC + PLGA. Expectedly, all experimental groups showed significantly or numerically lower compressive strength and Young's modulus than those of untouched controls. Ready-to-use Paste-CPC demonstrates a performance similar to that of PMMA, but improved biomechanics compared to those of water-based CPC + PLGA, expanding the therapeutic arsenal for bone defects. O, significantly lower extrusion of CPC + PLGA fibers into adjacent lumbar spongiosa may help to reduce the risk of local extrusion in spinal surgery.


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