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Subject: Adhesive for bone

Adhesive for bone

From: Stephen Koob <koobsp>
Date: Sunday, September 3, 2006
Alan J. Hawk <alan.hawk [at] afip__osd__mil> writes

>We have a skeleton that was damaged recently and we need to reattach
>one part of the leg.  The bone is very porous.  I was thinking of a
>couple of possibilities for the adhesive; the ever popular Acryloid
>B-72, but the mixture I have are either very liquidly or a very
>thick sticky paste. The other option would be the methylmethacrylate
>cement used by surgeons to attach joint prostheses.
>Does anyone on the list have any other suggestions for a bone cement
>or experience with the options I mentioned?  I would also appreciate
>any suggestions that you could offer.  Thank you,

I would suggest that you try B-72 again.  It has very good adhesion
to bone and can be made up in varying, but suitable mixtures. I
always recommend that you make up your own adhesive, and apply it
out of a tube.  I have lectured and published on this subject many
times, and I have found that conservators are very happy once they
make up their own solution mixture to suit their individual needs
(but tend to blame the B-72 if they use it out of a jar).

Sometimes a thicker adhesive is more appropriate (for large
ceramics, or stone), while a thinner adhesive is needed for
porcelain or glass). For the conservation of bone, I have
recommended B-72, both as a consolidant and as an adhesive, and I
make it up as "medium thin". Solutions in acetone work the best, and
a 10% solution is probably needed for consolidation (or sealing the
edges of the bone prior to using the adhesive).  A much thicker
solution is needed as an adhesive, in the area of 60-70%
weight/volume, and has to be made up as I suggested in Studies in
Conservation 31 (1986), pp. 7-14.  It is *very* important to start
with twice the amount of acetone needed, and once the resin has
dissolved, evaporate off as much acetone one wants, to achieve the
consistency desired.  The resin needs to be suspended in a
cheesecloth "bag", or it just makes a "sticky mess" in the bottom of
the jar.

The adhesive should not be applied out of the jar, or the
consistency changes with every use.  Empty adhesive tubes are
available from Conservation Resources, and one "batch" of adhesive
only takes about 10 minutes to make (plus the time needed to
evaporate the acetone) and should last you several years. Clean-up,
after application is easily done using acetone.

Stephen Koob
The Corning Museum of Glass
One Museum Way
Corning, NY 14830
Fax: 607-974-8470

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:13
                 Distributed: Friday, September 8, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-13-001
Received on Sunday, 3 September, 2006

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