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Fiber-Reinforced Cement Excels in Simulated Skull Repair

Exhibits strength superior to non-reinforced bone cement

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Fiber-reinforced calcium phosphate bone cement (FRC) exhibited superior strength and structural integrity when compared with non-reinforced cement (NRC), according to a study in the March/April issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

William D. Losquadro, M.D., State University of New York, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and colleagues used model skull crowns made of solid foam polyurethane and dura made of silicone in their tests. They set seven NRC specimens in 37.5-square-centimeter (medium size) model skull defects, seven NRC specimens in 50-square-centimeter (large size) model skull defects, seven FRC specimens in medium-size model skull defects and seven FRC specimens in large model skull defects. The models were then filled with water and subjected to vibrations simulating the pulsing of blood in the dura. After 24 hours, the NRC and FRC patches were removed and subjected to three-point flexural testing.

All 14 FRC repairs were successfully removed from the model skulls, but only four of the 14 NRC repairs could be removed without crumbling, the researchers report. In flexural testing, the FRC demonstrated 22 times the material strength of the NRC in the large repair and seven times the material strength in the medium repair, the report indicates.

"Clearly, FRC is stronger than NRC after 24 hours of dural pulsations, although how that strength might change with time as the polylactide-co-glycolide fibers resorb is unknown," the authors write.

Synthes Inc. was a study sponsor, and a custom dural pulsation model designed and manufactured by Synthes was used for the study.

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