Particle size of fillers affects permeability of polymethylmethacrylate

A. C. McLaren, S. G. McLaren, R. McLemore, Brent Vernon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Particulate soluble filler added to polymethylmethacrylate increases its permeability, leading to increased elution. We asked whether particle size affects permeability and elution rate associated with a given volume fraction of filler. Permeability of filler-loaded PMMA was measured in 9 mm rods with a 32% volume fraction of four particle sizes (106 μm, 212 μm, 425 μm, 850 μm) and two filler materials (sucrose and xylitol) using a modified phenolphthalein-sodium hydroxide technique, which allowed quantitative serial observation on the same specimens. Fluid penetration was faster for larger particle sizes. The elution rate was greater for smaller particle sizes on qualitative visual assessment. Sucrose fillers were not different from xylitol fillers independent of particle size. For the volume fraction of 32%, larger particles lead to larger caliber porosity, less pore intercon nectivity, and faster fluid penetration. Smaller size particles lead to smaller caliber porosity, greater pore interconnectivity, smaller areas between the pores with no fluid penetration and greater increase in the effective surface area causing a greater elution rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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