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J Tongji Med Univ. 1998;18(4):257-61.

Biodegradation of tricalcium phosphate ceramics by osteoclasts.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Xiehe Hospital, Tongji Medical University, Wuhan.


Biodegradation of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) ceramics was observed through mixed culture of osteoclasts and TCP discs in vitro in this study. Osteoclasts were isolated from newborn SD rat's marrow of long bone and cultured on TCP discs. The culture terminated at the 48th h and 96th h respectively. Under an inverted microscope, the osteoclasts imparted round or oval body with multinuclear and many thin processes. These cells were positively stained for tartrate-resistance acid phosphatase (TRAP). Scanning electron microscope showed that many resorption lacunae on TCP disc surface and their diameters were smaller than 20 microns. Osteoclasts were located in the lacunae. At the 96th h, the resorption lacunae become larger and osteoclasts showed degeneration. It is suggested that osteoclasts possess ability to re-absorb TCP ceramics under in vitro culturing condition.

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