Crystallization mechanisms of calcium phosphate cement for biological uses

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Self-setting calcium phosphate cement for dental or surgical applications can be prepared by the addition of a liquid to a mixture of acidic and basic calcium phosphate. After hardening, the final compound becomes hydroxyapatite. Using an orthogonal central composite plan, the main factors which control the setting and the final hardness of the cement were defined and models are proposed. The mechanisms of crystallization, the role of free and linked water, and the nature of the final and intermediate compounds are described.

This paper was accepted for publication after the 1995 Conference of the European Society of Biomaterials, Oporto, Portugal, 10–13 September.