Stainless steel wires are the standard method for sternal closure because of their strength and rigidity, the simplicity of the process, and the short healing time that results from their application. Despite this, problems still exist with sternal stability due to micromotion between the two halves of the dissected and wired sternum. Recently, a novel glass-based adhesive was developed which, in cadaveric trials and in conjunction with wiring, was shown to restrict this micromotion. However, in order to avoid complications during resternotomy, the adhesive should adhere only to the bone and not the sternal wire. In this study, sternal wires were embedded in 8 mm discs manufactured from the novel glass-based adhesive and the constructs were then incubated at 37 ◦C for one, seven, and 30 days. The discs were manufactured in two different thicknesses: 2 and 3 mm. Wire pull-out tests were then performed on the constructs at three different strain rates (1, 0.1, and 0.01 mm/min). No statistically significant difference in pull-out force was found regardless of incubation time, loading rate, or construct thickness. The pull-out forces recorded were consistent with static friction between the wire and adhesive, rather than the adhesion between them. Scanning electron micrographs provided further proof of this. These results indicate that the novel adhesive may be suitable for sternal fixation without complicating a potential resternotomy.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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Publication Date

01 Sep 2019