One of the major issues with the currently available injectable biomaterials for hard tissue replacement is the mismatch between their mechanical properties and those of the surrounding bone. Hybrid bone cements that combine the benefits of tough polymeric and bioactive ceramic materials could become a good alternative. In this work, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) was copolymerized with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to form injectable in situ cross-linkable hybrid cements. The hybrids were characterized in terms of their mechanical, rheological, handling and in vitro bioactive properties. The results indicated that hybridization improves the mechanical and bioactive properties of POSS and PEG. The Young moduli of the hybrids were lower than those of commercial cements and more similar to those of cancellous bone. Furthermore, the strength of the hybrids was similar to that of commercial cements. Calcium deficient hydroxyapatite grew on the surface of the hybrids after 28 days in PBS, indicating bioactivity. The study showed that PEG-POSS-based hybrid materials are a promising alternative to commercial bone cements.
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