Novel adhesives for sternal fixation and stabilization: A biomechanical analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Cerclage wires remain the current standard of care following median sternotomy, despite significant complications including dehiscence and infection. This study uses a human cadaveric model to investigate the use of glass polyalkenoate cements formulated from two glasses, A (mole fraction: SiO2:0.48, ZnO:0.36, CaO:0.12, SrO:0.04) and B (mole fraction: SiO2:0.48, ZnO:0.355, CaO:0.06, SrO:0.08, P2O5:0.02, Ta2O5:0.005), to improve wired sternal fixation. METHODS: Median sternotomies were performed on fifteen cadaveric sterna. Fixation was performed with either traditional wire cerclage or adhesive-enhanced wire cerclage; the adhesive based on either Glass A or Glass B. Cyclic tensile loading of 10 N to 100 N was applied. Every 30 cycles, the maximum load was increased by 100 N up to a maximum of 500 N. Two adhered sterna were tested beyond 500 N. Mid-sternal displacement was measured to assess fixation stability. FINDINGS: Displacement for adhesive-enhanced sternal closures were significantly less (p < 0.05) than standard wire cerclage. There was no significant difference between adhesives. Up to 500 N, no adhesive-enhanced sternum experienced a pathological sternal displacement (>2 mm), while three out of five of traditional wire fixations did. Of the two adhered samples tested beyond 500 N, one showed pathological displacement at 800 N and the other at 1100 N. Failure of adhered sterna appeared to initiate within the trabecular bone rather than in the adhesive. INTERPRETATION: The adhesives were capable of providing immediate bone stability, significantly reducing sternal displacement. In vivo investigations are warranted to determine the effect the adhesives have on bone remodelling.


  • Mehrvar, Cina
  • Kuzyk, Paul
  • Cohen, Gideon
  • Safir, Oleg
  • Zalzal, Paul
  • Alhalawani, Adel
  • Towler, Mark R
  • Papini, Marcello

publication date

  • February 2019