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J Biomed Mater Res. 1991 Aug;25(8):1019-30.

Calcium phosphate formation at the surface of bioactive glass in vitro.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Abo Akademi University, Finland.


The calcium phosphate formation at the surface of bioactive glass was studied in vitro. Glass rods and grains were immersed in different aqueous solutions and studied by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis. Surface morphological changes and weight loss of corroded grains were monitored. In-depth compositional profiles were determined for rods immersed in the different solutions. The solutions used were tris-buffer (tris-hydroxymethylaminomethane + HCl), tris-buffer prepared using citric acid (tris-hydroxymethylaminomethane + C6H8O7.H2O), and a simulated body fluid, SBF, containing inorganic ions close in concentration to those in human blood plasma. It was found that the calcium phosphate formation at the surface of bioactive glass in vitro proceeds in two stages. When immersing the glass in tris or in SBF a Ca,P-rich surface layer forms. This accumulation takes place within the silica structure. Later, apatite crystals forming spherulites appear on the surface. The Ca/P-ratio of initially formed calcium phosphate was found to be about unity. It is proposed that this is due to bonding of phosphate to a silica gel. The surface is stabilized, i.e., leaching is retarded, by the rapid Ca,P-accumulation within the silica structure before apatite crystals are observed on the surface. It is proposed that the initially formed calcium phosphate is initiated within the silica gel. The crystallizing surface provides nucleation sites for extensive apatite formation on the glass surface. In the presence of citrate no Ca,P-accumulation occur at the glass surface, but soluble Ca-citrate complexes form. By comparing the weight loss during corrosion in tris with that in the calcium and phosphate containing SBF, it is possible to establish whether the glass can induce apatite formation at its surface or not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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