Author(s): Ginebra MP, Fernndez E, De Maeyer EA, Verbeeck RM, Boltong MG,
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Abstract The combination of self-setting and biocompatibility makes calcium phosphate cements potentially useful materials for a variety of dental applications. The objective of this study was to investigate the setting and hardening mechanisms of a cement-type reaction leading to the formation of calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite at low temperature. Reactants used were alpha-tricalcium phosphate containing 17 wt\% beta-tricalcium phosphate, and 2 wt\% of precipitated hydroxyapatite as solid phase and an aqueous solution 2.5 wt\% of disodium hydrogen phosphate as liquid phase. The transformation of the mixture was stopped at selected times by a freeze-drying techniques, so that the cement properties at various stages could be studied by means of x-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Also, the compressive strength of the cement was measured as a function of time. The results showed that: (1) the cement setting was the result of the alpha-tricalcium phosphate hydrolysis, giving as a product calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite, while beta-tricalcium phosphate did not participate in the reaction; (2) the extent of conversion of alpha-TCP was nearly 80\% after 24 hr; (3) both the extent of conversion and the compressive strength increased initially linearly with time, subsequently reaching a saturation level, with a strong correlation observed between them, indicating that the microstructural changes taking place as the setting reaction proceeded were responsible for the mechanical behavior of the cement; and (4) the microstructure of the set cement consisted of clusters of big plates with radial or parallel orientations in a matrix of small plate-like crystals.
This article was published in J Dent Res
and referenced in Bioceramics Development and Applications