Acrylx™ ESF Acrylic FAQs
I have used various hoof repair and dental methacrylate products successfully, why would I consider switching to Acrylx™?
Acrylx™ is a methacrylate based product so you will be familiar with use. However, Acrylx™ has little, if any, of the offensive odor commonly associated with use of PMMA products. In addition, Acrylx™ does not require pre-mixing or measuring so it is cleaner, easier and faster to apply than what you have previously used.
What is the typical set up time for Acrylx™?
Typically 10-12 minutes at room temperature. You have about 2-4 minutes to adjust reduction and alignment, then the limb and column must be held without motion until set is complete. It is important to have Acrylx™ (or any other resins) motionless during the actual cure period. Allow 12-15 total minutes from tube fill until manipulation.
Why does IMEX™ emphasize this product for avian, exotic, feline, toy breeds and mandibular fractures?
These are cases that frequently present difficulties using traditional linear connecting bars and clamps. With very small patients, even clamps positioned adjacent to one another often result in inadequate pin number in a bone fragment. The small bone fragments and small pins required often result in pins being out of normal planes. A construct that is compact but strong, while allowing pin diameter and location freedom, is often required. Mechanical frames on mandibular fractures of larger patients are possible but difficult to apply and keep clean postoperatively. Acrylic and pin frames solve these problems.
The Acrylx™ applicator gun appears the same as a gun I have. Can I use my gun with the Acrylx™ cartridge?
Maybe. This type of gun is commonly used in the dental and adhesive market. There is more than one style and some companies use more than one gun. The Acrylx™ applicator gun is designed for 1:1 and 2:1 cartridge systems. This information is usually on the gun. Applicator guns for ProTemp™ or Integrity® are not compatible. Check your gun for information near the handle and call IMEX™ with any questions. Compared to many dental products, the cost of Acrylx™ is so favorable that purchase of another gun becomes insignificant.
Does an ESF column of Acrylx™ interfere with radiographic evaluation of fracture reduction and healing?
No, IMEX™ specifically formulated Acrylx™ to eliminate barium and other radiodense components that might interfere with radiographic evaluation.
Can I use Acrylx™ to construct ESF frames on larger patients?
Acrylx™ is similar in strength to commonly used dental two-part methacrylate resins which are sometimes used for larger patients. Since these patients often require a column of 20 to 25mm diameter in 8 to 10” lengths, it may require multiple cartridges of Acrylx™ to build an adequate frame, resulting in traditional products being at a significant economic advantage.
Once I have opened and used an Acrylx™ cartridge, does all of the resin have to be used or lost?
No, one of the advantages of Acrylx™ is that unused resin in the cartridge remains viable for future cases. The mixing tip used for the application is simply left on the cartridge to act as a cap until next use. At next use, the old mixing tip is removed and a new one is applied. You are then ready for another application.
The cartridge provides multi-use potential, but how many cases will I get from a single cartridge?
This depends on the diameter and length of the cartridge columns. Based on several avian skeleton model applications averaging a 100mm length of 6mm tube, approximately 9 cases could be performed with a single resin cartridge. A single cartridge will fill approximately 18 inches of 10mm tube and 40 inches of 6mm tube.
What is the best way to determine if an Acrylx™ column has completely cured (hardened)?
The safest and most reliable method is to use a watch or timer. Allow a full 12 minutes after application before moving the frame. Up to 4 minutes after application is acceptable to fine tune reduction, then eliminate any additional motion during the cure process. Do not wiggle or pinch the column during the cure period to determine hardness. 12 minutes will coincide with maximum exotherm followed by a brief cooling period.
I applied an Acrylx™ fixator and after 20 minutes the column remained pliable. What did I do wrong?
If there is motion of the resin column during the liquid-to-solid phase change, it is likely to result in a number of fissures. Fissured resin contained within corrugated tubing gives the feel of pliability when in actuality, the resin is fully hardened. Once the Acrylx™ is placed into tubing, one has a few minutes to tweak reduction, but then the column must remain free of motion during the vulnerable liquid-to-solid phase change. Consider leaving a couple of pins long and applying temporary fixation clamps if unable to hold reduction motionless during cure.
My Acrylx™ remains sticky at the surface well after it should be hardened. Does this mean the resin has not hardened properly?
No, what you feel is known as the “oxygen inhibited layer,” a by-product of the cure process. Customers filling tubing columns often do not even notice this layer, but it is obvious to those who are applying Acrylx™ over bent pins or performing similar “open” application. As long as this layer is intact and clean, one can add additional Acrylx™ and expect an excellent bond. If desired, this layer can simply be wiped away with isopropyl alcohol on a gauze pad or cotton ball.
Does Acrylx™ generate an exothermic reaction like my hoof and dental powder and liquid products?
Yes, Acrylx™ generates heat as it sets up. Informal laser probe analysis indicates it does not generate more heat than commonly used hoof or powder/liquid dental mix products, which have proven safety records when constructing even larger columns. With the small tube diameter used to create Acrylx™ external columns, potential for bone damage at pin locations is even less likely.
What is the shelf-life of a cartridge?
Acrylx™ shelf-life is currently labeled for one year from manufacture at room temperature. This date is based on standard human dental shelf-life and we expect this date to be lengthened as testing continues over time. Refrigerated storage prolongs the shelf-life, but it is best to allow the resin to adjust to room temperature prior to clinical application; keeping viscosity and set time consistent.
Are the mixing tips, tubes, applicator gun and cartridge sterile?
No, these are all non-sterile. Customers typically use a two-phase technique when applying acrylic and pin frames. The first phase is the sterile phase and includes surgical approach, reduction, pin application and closure. The second, non-sterile phase includes application of tubing mold, temporary clamps or other immobilization components, and Acrylx™. Any final reduction after resin application should be done quickly and held motionless until the column is completely set. Occasionally, surgeons sterilize Acrylx™ system components using ethylene oxide, but it has not been proven that the actual resin is sterile.
I often use large soda straws or Penrose tube as a column mold so I see no need to purchase the accessory pack.
Straws and Penrose drain tube have historically been used and work well when of appropriate diameter for the patient. Many straw diameters will mate well with one of the mixing tip options. Penrose tube requires clamping of one end and forceful fill to mitigate folds, has some native radiodensity and is more expensive than corrugated tubing. 10mm corrugated tubing is cleanly filled using adapter plugs, which are sold separately or in the accessory pack. Corrugated tubing does not tend to collapse when making bends as does Penrose tube and non-corrugated soda straws. The accessory pack is an excellent purchase for each new Acrylx™ user and he/she will find something they prefer in the pack. Future purchases are usually for these preferred items and not for repeat accessory packs. Try it and find which tips, tubes and plugs work best for you.
What ESF pins are most commonly used with Acrylx™ frames?
Miniature INTERFACE® and CENTERFACE® pins are positive-profile ESF pins originally designed for acrylic and pin fixators and are readily available in K-wire diameters as well as 2.0mm and 2.4mm versions. Use of these quality, threaded fixation pins will prolong longevity of the pin/bone interface and reduce patient morbidity as compared to smooth pins and K-wire. 6mm tubing is slightly smaller than large soda straws and should be reserved for 1.1mm (0.045”) or smaller diameter miniature ESF pins.