Physical Properties of Acidic Calcium Phosphate Cements

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The gold standard for bone replacement today, autologous bone, suffers from several disadvantages, such as the increased risk of infection due to the need for two surgeries. Degradable synthetic materials with properties similar to bone, such as calcium phosphate cements, are a promising alternative. Calcium phosphate cements are suited for a limited amount of applications and improving their physical properties could extend their use into areas previously not considered possible. For example, cement with increased strength could be used as load bearing support in selected applications. The focus of this thesis is, therefore, on how the physical properties of acidic calcium phosphate cements (brushite cements) are affected by compositional variations, with the ultimate aim of making it possible to formulate brushite cements with desired properties.In this thesis a method to measure the porosity of a cement was developed. This method is advantageous over existing methods as it is easy to use, requiring no advanced equipment. A model estimating the porosity of the hardened cement from the initial chemical composition was further formulated and the accuracy affirmed. Utilization of this model allows the porosity to be optimized by calculations rather than extensive laboratory work. The effect on strength and porosity of several compositional variations were also assessed and it was found that the optimal composition to achieve a high strength was: monocalcium phosphate particles in sizes <75µm, 10 mol% excess of beta-tricalcium phosphate, 1 wt% disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, and 0.5 M citric acid in a liquid-to-powder ratio of 0.22 ml/g. This composition gave the highest compressive strength historically measured for this type of cement, i.e., 74.4 (±10.7) MPa. Although such a high strength may not be necessary for all applications, it allows for the use of brushite cements in new applications. Furthermore, a high strength of the bulk allows for alterations to the cement that cause a decrease in strength. One application is fast degrading materials, allowing rapid bone ingrowth. A fast degradation is obtained with a high macroporosity, which would reduce strength. The high strength composition was therefore utilized to achieve brushite cement with a high macroporosity.