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Acta Biomater. 2008 Mar;4(2):425-31. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Zinc-based glass polyalkenoate cements with improved setting times and mechanical properties.

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Materials and Surface Science Institute, National Technological Park, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.


The suitability of glass polyalkenoate cements (GPCs) for skeletal applications is limited by the presence, in the glass phase, of the aluminium ion (Al3+), a neurotoxin. The zinc ion (Zn2+), a bacteriocide, has been incorporated into aluminium-free GPCs based on zinc silicate glasses. However, these GPCs have considerably shorter working times and poorer mechanical properties than their Al3+-containing counterparts. Based on results for calcium phosphate cements, there is an indication that mixing a GPC with an organic compound, tricalcium citrate (TSC), may lead to cements with improved rheological and mechanical properties. We developed a range of Zn-based GPCs and determined their working times (Tw), setting times (Ts), compressive strength (CS) and biaxial flexural strengths (BFS). A GPC composed of 1g of a calcium-zinc silicate glass (BT100) mixed with a 50wt.% aqueous solution on polyacrylic acid (coded E9, Mw 80,800) at a powder liquid ratio of 2:1.5 exhibited the best combination of Tw, Ts, CS and BFS. We also found that the addition of TSC (over the range 5-15wt.%) to a GPC led to significant increases in both Tw (from 40+/-3 to 100+/-4s) and Ts (from 70+/-2 to 3000+/-4s) accompanied by changes in both CS and BFS that were affected by the duration of the aging time of the specimens in distilled water (for example, after aging for 7 days CS dropped from 62+/-2 to 17+/-1MPa, while after aging for 30 days, BFS increased 27+/-6 to 31+/-7MPa and then dropped to 17+/-1MPa). Future modification and characterization of the examined GPCs are needed before they may be considered as candidates for orthopaedic applications.

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