Analysis of the shelf life of a two-solution bone cement

J. B. Shim, S. J. Warner, J. M. Hasenwinkel, J. L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Two-solution bone cement consists of methyl methacrylate monomer and poly(methyl methacrylate) polymer dissolved together to yield a viscous solution. Two solutions are used such that the initiator, benzoyl peroxide (BPO), is placed in one solution and the activator, N,N, dimethyl-para- toluidine, is placed in the other. This approach to bone cement provides for a simplified use during surgery and eliminates some of the sources of porosity formation. However, the BPO-containing solution cement will spontaneously polymerize over time and will limit the useful shelf life of this component of the system. The activator-containing component is much more stable and is not as susceptible to spontaneous polymerization. In making two-solution cements, it is envisioned that antibiotics may be incorporated and that the polymer may be sterilized using γ(gamma)-irradiation. Therefore, this study investigated the shelf life of the initiator-containing solution bone cement and studied the effects of initiator concentration, γ-irradiation, gentamicin addition, and the role of storage temperature. Isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (Iso-DSC) techniques were used to monitor the polymerization of BPO-containing solutions. It was found that the shelf life was highly temperature dependent and followed an Arrhenius expression where refrigeration storage (4°C) yielded approximately a 12-month storage time, while 70°C storage results in setting in about 5-7 min. γ-irradiation and gentamicin addition did not significantly affect the shelf life. Initiator concentration affected storage time with higher levels resulting in shorter shelf life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4181-4187
Number of pages7
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Antibiotics
  • Arrhenius expression
  • BPO
  • Bone cement
  • Iso-DSC
  • Shelf life
  • Spontaneous thermal polymerization
  • γ-irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the shelf life of a two-solution bone cement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this