Antibacterial PMMA composite cements with tunable thermal and mechanical properties

Arianna De Mori, Emanuela Di Gregorio, Alex Kao, Gianluca Tozzi, Eugen Barbu, Anita Sanghani-Kerai, Roger Draheim, Marta Roldo

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PMMA-based cements are the most used bone cements in vertebroplasty and total hip arthroplasty. However, they present several drawbacks, including susceptibility to bacterial infection, monomer leakage toxicity, and high polymerization temperature, which can all lead to damage to the surrounding tissues and their failure. In the present study, silver nanowires (AgNWs) have been introduced to bestow antibacterial properties; chitosan (CS) to promote porosity and to reduce the polymerization temperature, without negatively affecting the mechanical performance; and meth22 acryloyl chitosan (CSMCC) to promote cross-linking with methyl methacrylate (MMA) and reduce the quantity of monomer required for polymerization. Novel PMMA cements were formulated containing AgNWs (0 and 1% w/w) and CS or CSMCC at various concentrations (0, 10, 20, and 30% w/w), testing two different ratios of powder and MMA (P/L). Mechanical, thermal, antibacterial, and cytotoxic properties of the resulting composite cements were tested. Cements with concentrations of CS > 10% presented a significantly reduced polymerization temperature. The mechanical performances were affected for concentrations > 20% with a P/L concentration equal to 2:1. Concentrations of AgNWs as low as 1% w/w conferred antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, whereas biofilm formation on the surface of the cements was increased when CS was included in the preparation. The combination of CS and AgNWs allowed a higher concentration of Ag+ to be released over time with enhanced antimicrobial activity. Inclusion of AgNWs did not affect cell viability on the scaffolds. In conclusion, a combination of CS and AgNWs may be beneficial for reducing both polymerization temperature and biofilm formation, without significantly affecting mesenchymal stem cell proliferation on the scaffolds. No advantages have been noticed as a result of the reducing P/L ratio or using CSMCC instead of CS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19664-19675
Number of pages12
JournalACS Omega
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2019


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