While many different filler materials have been applied in vertebral augmentation procedures, none is perfect in all biomechanical and biological characteristics. To minimize possible shortages, we synthesized a new biodegradable, injectable, and premixed composite made from poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) and biphasic α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP)/hydroxyapatite (HAP) ceramics powder and evaluated the material properties of the compound in vitro. We mixed the PPF cross-linked by N-vinyl pyrrolidinone and biphasic α-TCP/HAP powder in different ratios with benzoyl peroxide as an initiator. The setting time and temperature were recorded, although they could be manipulated by modulating the concentrations of hydroquinone and N,N-dimethyl-p-toluidine. Degradation, cytocompatibility, mechanical properties, and radiopacity were analyzed after the composites were cured by a cylindrical shape. We also compared the study materials with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and PPF with pure HAP particles. Results showed that lower temperature during curing process (38-44°C), sufficient initial mechanical compressive fracture strength (61.1±3.7MPa), and gradual degradation were observed in the newly developed bone filler. Radiopacity in Hounsfield units was similar to PMMA as determined by computed tomography scan. Both pH value variation and cytotoxicity were within biological tolerable limits based on the biocompatibility tests. Mixtures with 70% α-TCP/HAP powder were superior to other groups. This study indicated that a composite of PPF and biphasic α-TCP/HAP powder is a promising, premixed, injectable biodegradable filler and that a mixture containing 70% α-TCP/HAP exhibits the best properties.
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