The Chemistry of Acrylic Bone Cements and Implications for Clinical Use in Image-guided Therapy

David A. Nussbaum, Philippe Gailloud, Kieran Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Advances in image-guided therapy for vertebral fractures and other bone-related disorders have made acrylic bone cement an integral part of the interventional armamentarium. Unfortunately, information on the properties and chemistry of these compounds is mostly published in the biomaterial sciences literature, a source with which the interventional community is generally unfamiliar. This review focuses on the chemistry of bone cement polymerization and the properties of components in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)-based polymers, the most commonly used bone cements in interventional procedures such as percutaneous vertebroplasty. The effects of altering the concentration of components such as methylmethacrylate monomers, PMMA beads, benzoyl peroxide activator, N,N-dimethyl-p-toluidine (DMPT) initiator, and radiopacifiers on the setting time, polymerization temperature, and compressive strength of the cement are also considered. This information will allow interventional radiologists to manipulate bone cement characteristics for specific applications and maximize the clinical potential of image-guided interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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