Preparation of porous apatite granules from calcium phosphate cement
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- Tas, A.C. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2008) 19: 2231. doi:10.1007/s10856-007-3326-9
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A versatile method for preparing spherical, micro- and macroporous (micro: 2–10 and macro: 150–550 μm pores), carbonated apatitic calcium phosphate (Ap-CaP) granules (2–4 mm in size) was developed by using NaCl crystals as the porogen. The entire granule production was performed between 21 and 37 °C. A CaP cement powder, comprising α-Ca3(PO4)2 (61 wt.%), CaHPO4 (26%), CaCO3 (10%) and precipitated hydroxyapatite, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 (3%), was dry mixed with NaCl crystals varying in size from 420 μm to 1 mm. Cement powder (35 wt.%) and NaCl (65 wt.%) mixture was kneaded with an ethanol–Na2HPO4 initiator solution, and the formed dough was immediately agitated on an automatic sieve shaker for a few minutes to produce the spherical granules. Embedded NaCl crystals were then leached out of the granules by soaking them in deionized water. CaP granules were micro- and macroporous with a total porosity of 50% or more. Granules were composed of carbonated, poorly crystallized, apatitic CaP phase. These were the first spherical and porous CaP granules ever produced from a self-setting calcium phosphate cement. The granules reached their final handling strength at the ambient temperature through the cement setting reaction, without having a need for sintering.