Formation and properties of magnesium–ammonium–phosphate hexahydrate biocements in the Ca–Mg–PO4 system
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Calcium substituted trimagnesium phosphate with the general formula CaxMg(3−x)(PO4)2 (0 < x < 1.5) was synthesized by calcination of powder mixtures with the appropriate stoichiometry and reacted with 3.5 M diammonium hydrogenphosphate solution to form a cementitious matrix of magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (struvite). The degree of ionic substitution was shown to influence physical cement properties; clinically suitable cement formulations with setting times in the range 5–15 min and compressive strengths of >50 MPa were obtained for x ≤ 0.75 together with a grinding time ≥1 h and a powder to liquid ratio ≥2.5 g/ml. The cement cytocompatibility was investigated by culturing human osteoblast cell line MG63 on cement surfaces demonstrating pronounced cell growth during 13 days cultivation.