A novel method of forming micro- and macroporous monetite cements
Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 1(7), pp 958-969, 2013
Second to autologous bone grafts are the calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) used as synthetic bone substitutes due to their chemical similarity to the mineral component of bone. Their ability to conform to complex bone defects and excellent osteoconductivity also render them excellent scaffolds for bone tissue engineering, although they do have their own limitations. Calcium phosphates can be divided into two main categories, namely apatite and brushite. Apatites exhibit low solubility, whereas, calcium phosphates that set to form brushite, are metastable, which degrade rapidly, but do subsequently form hydroxyapatite that retards the rate. In contrast dicalcium phosphate anhydrous (monetite) has a higher solubility than octacalcium phosphate and does not transform to an apatite; thus, it is able to continue to degrade with time. Herein, a new method was used via the addition of sodium chloride to beta-tricalcium phosphate and monocalcium phosphate monohydrate to form micro- and macroporous monetite (DCPA). The X-ray diffraction and FTIR spectra confirmed the formation of monetite in the presence of both, 6.2 M NaCl solution or 60% of solid sodium chloride. The maximum compressive strength (sigma(c) = 12.3 +/- 1.8 MPa) and the Young%26apos;s modulus (E = 1.0 +/- 0.1 GPa) of the monetite cements obtained were comparable to the upper limits of the values reported for cancellous bone and also higher than that reported by other routes used to form monetite. The porous cements analysed by microCT revealed an interconnected porosity with the preliminary in vitro biological evaluation indicating favourable osteoblast cell attachment and growth.