Date of Award

12-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Engineering Science

First Advisor

Filip, Peter

Abstract

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) is one of the most commonly used acrylic bone cements. In 1970s, Dr. John Charnley showed that PMMA can be used as a grouting material for different bone implants for different Joint Arthroplasties (JA). Since then, it is being used in almost all orthopedic and many of the dental applications to provide support to the implant material. The life of these implants is predicted to be 10-15 years. Many of these surgeries fail to live upto the predicted time. This is often because of aseptic loosening of cement mantle which holds the implant. It was shown repeatedly that weak mechanical properties are responsible for this loosening. Crack formation and propagation in cement results in dislocation of implant. However, there are various additional factors which have direct and indirect impact on the mechanical properties of bone cement and it is necessary to follow the loosening mechanism. Since 1970s, lot of research has been done in order to improve mechanical properties of bone cements. Different theories have been proposed and experimentally proved showing remarkable improvement of the mechanical strength of bone cements. Most of these theories tend to make addition of some novel ingredient/component to current solid-liquid system, maintaining the integrity and biocompatibility of bone cement. With advancements in Nanotechnology, use of Nanoadditives has become a common practice in most of the fields including medicine. High surface area to volume ratio is responsible for the extensive use of different nanoparticles in almost all the sectors of technology. Nanocomposites made by mixing of polymers and nanomaterials have shown promising results in terms of their enthalpic and entropic interactions. Current research represents an effort to improve strength of bone cement by lowering the failure rate by using TiO2 (Titania) nanoparticles. The TiO2 nanoparticles used during this research were unfunctionalized. This addition of Titania is expected to improve mechanical properties and mitigate crack generation and propagation in the bone cement mantle and thus increase the life span of the implants after surgery.

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