This study investigates the use of gallium (Ga) based glass polyalkenoate cements (GPCs) as a possible alternative adhesive in sternal fixation, post sternotomy surgery. The glass series consists of a Control (CaO–ZnO–SiO2), and LGa-1 and LGa-2 which contain Ga at the expense of zinc (Zn) in 0.08 mol% increments. The additions of Ga resulted in increased working time (75 s to 137 s) and setting time (113 to 254 s). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis indicated that this was a direct result of increased unreacted poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and the reduction of crosslink formation during cement maturation. LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) resulted in an altered ion release profile, particularly for 30 days analysis, with maximum Ca2+, Zn2+, Si4+ and Ga3+ ions released into the distilled water. The additions of Ga resulted in increased roughness and decreased contact angles during cement maturation. The presence of Ga has a positive effect on the compressive strength of the samples with strengths increasing over 10 MPa at 7 days analysis compared to the 1 day results. The additions of Ga had relatively no effect on the flexural strength. Tensile testing of bovine sterna proved that the LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) are comparable to the Control samples.
Alhalawani, A. M. F., Curran, D. J., Pingguan-Murphy, B., Boyd, D., & Towler, M. R. (2013). A novel glass polyalkenoate cement for fixation and stabilisation of the ribcage, post sternotomy surgery: An ex-vivo study. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 4(4), 329-357. doi:10.3390/jfb4040329