Author(s): Kokubo T, Ito S, Huang ZT, Hayashi T, Sakka S,
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Abstract Glass-ceramic A-W, containing crystalline apatite and wollastonite in a MgO-CaO-SiO2 glassy matrix shows high bioactivity as well as high mechanical strength, but other ceramics containing the same kinds of crystalline phases in different glassy matrices do not show the same bioactivity. In order to investigate the bone-bonding mechanism of this type of glass-ceramic, surface structural changes of the glass-ceramics after exposure to simulated body fluid were analyzed with various techniques. A solution with ion concentrations which are almost equal to those of the human blood plasma was used as the simulated body fluid, instead of Tris-buffer solution hitherto used. For analyzing the surface structural changes, thin-film x-ray diffraction was used in addition to conventional techniques. It was found that a bioactive glass-ceramic forms a Ca, P-rich layer on its surface in the fluid but nonbioactive ones do not, and that the Ca, P-rich layer consists of carbonate-containing hydroxyapatite of small crystallites and/or defective structure. These findings were common to those of Bioglass-type glasses. So, we conclude that the essential condition for glass and glass-ceramic to bond to bone is the formation of the surface apatite layer in the body environment but it is not essential to contain apatite within the material. Bioactivity of glass and glass-ceramic can be evaluated in vitro by examining the formation of the surface apatite layer in the simulated body fluid described above.
This article was published in J Biomed Mater Res
and referenced in Bioceramics Development and Applications