Gentamicin release from two-solution and powder-liquid poly(methyl methacrylate)-based bone cements by using novel pH method

Imad K. Merkhan, Julie M. Hasenwinkel, Jeremy L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The release of gentamicin as a function of time was measured for Palacos and two-solution bone cements by using a novel pH technique. The pH of an aqueous solution of gentamicin is a function of the gentamicin concentration and it decreases linearly over concentrations of 0.0-0.1 wt %. Therefore, a new, direct, and inexpensive in vitro technique was developed based on continuous readings of the pH in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 37°C to determine the release kinetics of gentamicin from poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based bone cement. In addition, this method was used to compare the release profiles of Palacos R-40 bone cement with a two-solution bone cement developed in our laboratory and loaded with two different concentrations of gentamicin sulfate. Finally, the pH-based method was used to track the elution of gentamicin in both mixed and static conditions to determine the effect of mixing on the diffusion of gentamicin out of the cement. It was found that Palacos R-40 released 4.95 ± 0.22 wt % of its gentamicin after 24 h in PBS solution. This data compares favorably with previously reported values of gentamicin elution from Palacos R-40, which ranged from 3 to 8 wt % of the total amount of incorporated gentamicin, depending on the size and the surface area of the samples. The results show that Palacos samples released 4.84 ± 0.27 mg after 24 h, a two-solution cement loaded with an equivalent concentration of gentamicin sulfate released 3.81 ± 0.52 mg, and two-solution cement loaded with twice the concentration of Palacos released 5.53 ± 0.26 mg of gentamicin. A higher percentage of release was recorded from Palacos than from the two-solution bone cement, and the effect of PBS mixing conditions on the release kinetics was only significant in the early stages of release and not at 24 h. It was concluded that monitoring the pH is an effective technique to measure gentamicin release from PMMA-based bone cements in PBS solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Bone cement
  • Gentamicin sulfate
  • Poly(methyl methacrylate)
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Gentamicin release from two-solution and powder-liquid poly(methyl methacrylate)-based bone cements by using novel pH method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this