Indexed on: 15 Mar '12Published on: 15 Mar '12Published in: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
The conversion of 45S5 glass and glass-ceramics to a hydroxyapatite (HA)-like material in vitro has been studied extensively, but only for short reaction times (typically <3 months). In this paper, we report for the first time on the long-term conversion of 45S5 glass-ceramic microspheres (designated 45S5c) in an aqueous phosphate solution. Microspheres of 45S5c (75-150 μm) were immersed for 10 years at room temperature (~25 °C) in K(2)HPO(4) solution with a concentration of 0.01 M or 1.0 M, and with a starting pH of 7.0 or 9.5. The reacted 45S5c microspheres and solutions were analyzed using structural and analytical techniques. Only 25-45 vol% of the 45S5c microspheres were converted to an HA-like material after the 10 year reaction. In solutions with a starting pH of 9.5, an increase in the K(2)HPO(4) concentration from 0.01 to 1.0 M resulted in a doubling of the volume of the microspheres converted to an HA-like material but had little effect on the composition of the HA-like product. In comparison, reaction of the 45S5c microspheres in the solution with a starting pH of 7.0 resulted in an HA-like product in the 0.01 M K(2)HPO(4) solution but a calcium pyrophosphate product, Ca(10)K(4)(P(2)O(7))(6).9H(2)O, in the 1.0 M solution. The consequences of these results for the long-term use of 45S5 glass-ceramics in biomedical applications are discussed.