A porous swelling copolymeric material for improved implant fixation to bone

Sorin Siegler, Moein Taghvaei, Ryan Zegarski, Giuseppe Palmese, Rena Mathew, Julia Schayes, Thomas Schaer, Ahmad Najafi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Most metallic commercial bone anchors, such as screws and suture anchors achieve their fixation to bone through shear of the bone located between the threads. They have several deficiencies, potentially leading to failure, which are particularly evident in low-density bone. These include stress-shielding resulting from mechanical properties mismatch; lack of mechanically induced remodeling and osteointegration; and when the pullout force on the anchor, during functional activities, exceeds their pullout strength, catastrophic failure occurs leaving behind large bone defects that may be hard to repair. To overcome these deficiencies, we introduced in this study a porous swelling co-polymeric material and studied its swelling and compressive mechanical characteristics as bone anchor under different configurations. Porosity was achieved by adding a non-dissolvable agent (NaCl) during the process of polymerization, which was later dissolved in water, leaving behind a porous structure with adequate porosity for osteointegration. Three different groups of cylindrical samples of the swelling co-polymer were investigated. Solid, fully porous, and partially porous with a solid core and a porous outer layer. The results of the swelling and simple compression study show that the partially porous swelling co-polymer maintains excellent mechanical properties matching those of cancellous bone, quick swelling response, and an adequate porous outer layer for mechanically induced osteointegration. These suggest that this material may present an effective alternative to conventional bone anchors particularly in low-density bone.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1342-1350
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jul 2023

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Biomaterials
    • Biomedical Engineering


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