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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2012 Oct;23(10):2531-41. doi: 10.1007/s10856-012-4708-1. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Material characterisation and cytocompatibility assessment of quinternary phosphate glasses.

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Division of Materials, Mechanics and Structures, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


Six phosphate glass formulations (in the system P(2)O(5)-CaO-MgO-Na(2)O-Fe(2)O(3)) were produced with fixed magnesium and calcium content at 24 and 16 mol%, respectively. P(2)O(5) and Fe(2)O(3) were varied between 40-50 and 0-4 mol% respectively, with the balance being Na(2)O. EDX analyses confirmed the final composition of the glasses investigated to within a 1-2 % error margin. Thermal analyses showed a linear increase in T(g) with increasing Fe(2)O(3) and P(2)O(5) contents, with Fe(2)O(3) showing a greater effect than P(2)O(5). This was proposed to be due to the formation of Fe-O-P bonds and an increase in the cross-link density of the glass network enhancing the durability of the glass. The glasses that were investigated revealed a decrease in degradation rate with increasing Fe(2)O(3) and P(2)O(5) contents and again the effect of Fe(2)O(3) was greater. All the above characteristics correlated well with structural changes measured by IR and XPS analyses. Cytocompatibility studies showed good cellular (MG63) response to the glasses up to 168 h in terms of cell viability, proliferation and differentiation. Statistical analysis revealed that all the formulations with the exception of P50Fe4 gave a comparable response to the control (TCP), which suggested that after a threshold level of glass durability is achieved the degradation rate has no or minimal effect on biocompatibility. However, it was seen that the glass chemistry can also affect cellular response, since increasing the P(2)O(5) content promoted phenotypic expression that was not related to degradation rate but to the degradation products. This was supported using an elution assay.

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