Some of the current clinical and biomechanical data suggest that vertebroplasty causes the development of adjacent vertebral fractures shortly after augmentation. These findings have been attributed to high injection volumes as well as high Young's moduli of PMMA bone cements compared to that of the osteoporotic cancellous bone. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of castor oil as a plasticizer for PMMA bone cements. The Young's modulus, yield strength, maximum polymerization temperature, doughing time, setting time and the complex viscosity curves during curing, were determined. The cytotoxicity of the materials extracts was assessed on cells of an osteoblast-like cell line. The addition of up to 12 wt% castor oil decreased yield strength from 88 to 15 MPa, Young's modulus from 1500 to 446 MPa and maximum polymerization temperature from 41.3 to 25.6°C, without affecting the setting time. However, castor oil seemed to interfere with the polymerization reaction, giving a negative effect on cell viability in a worst-case scenario.