Assessment of a three-dimensional measurement technique for the porosity evaluation of PMMA bone cement.


In vitro testing of bone cement has historically resulted in the belief that porosity should be minimised to help reduce the risk of prosthesis failure through aseptic loosening. Traditional porosity measurement techniques rely on the analysis of a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional structure. However, with an increasing interest in the number, size and distribution of pores in bone cement, the reliability of a two dimensional approach is questionable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of micro computed tomography (micro-CT) for the three dimensional measurement of bone cement porosity by comparison with two traditional techniques. Eighteen bone cement specimens were analysed for porosity using each technique. Levels of agreement between techniques were evaluated, and technique precision was assessed in terms of repeatability and sensitivity to changes in threshold. Micro-CT data was used to illustrate the effectiveness of predicting the porosity of a whole structure from a sample region; an approach often used with traditional techniques. In summary, poor agreement was found between all techniques. However, micro-CT was found to be significantly more repeatable and less sensitive to changes in threshold. The results demonstrated that porosity cannot be reliably determined using traditional techniques and that a large proportion of a specimen is required to provide an accurate porosity measurement.

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@article{Cox2006AssessmentOA, title={Assessment of a three-dimensional measurement technique for the porosity evaluation of PMMA bone cement.}, author={Benjamin D Cox and R. Wilcox and Martin Levesley and Richard M. Hall}, journal={Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine}, year={2006}, volume={17 6}, pages={553-7} }