Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 747–752

Effect of molecular weight and concentration of poly(acrylic acid) on the formation of a polymeric calcium phosphate cement


DOI: 10.1023/A:1025028119787

Cite this article as:
Majekodunmi, A.O., Deb, S. & Nicholson, J.W. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine (2003) 14: 747. doi:10.1023/A:1025028119787


Previous investigations have noted that the tetracalcium phosphate (TTCP)/dicalcium phosphate anhydrous (DCPA) apatite forming calcium phosphate cement (CPC) possesses many favorable properties from a biomaterials standpoint. Despite these positive properties various shortcomings have limited clinical usage of these materials and fostered investigations into the effect of numerous additives. The present study concerns the effect of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) addition and the influence of factors such as molecular weight and concentration of the additive on the properties of the set cement. One-way ANOVA was conducted using all results obtained, to firstly derive the influence of concentration within each molecular weight group, and secondly to derive the influence of molecular weight within each concentration group. All investigated mechanical properties were influenced by both molecular weight and concentration of the additive. Higher molecular weights tended to result in cements with shorter setting times and higher compressive, diametral and biaxial flexural strengths than their lower molecular weight counterparts. The effect of concentration on the properties of the set cement however was somewhat more complex, a negative correlation was observed between the initial setting time and PAA concentration. In regards to the final setting time, any correlation with concentration was difficult to derive as a consequence of the highly brittle nature of cements made with low concentrations. In regard to mechanical properties, intermediate concentrations tended to give higher strengths than both their higher and lower counterparts, however the exact pattern was largely specific to the mechanical strength test employed. We conclude that molecular weight and concentration of PAA influence the setting behavior and final mechanical properties of the TTCP/DCPA cement, and that selection of an appropriate PAA solution can lead to the production of cements with properties superior to those formed in the absence of the polymer.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiomaterialsGuy's King's and St. Thomas', School of Dentistry, King's CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.School of Chemical & Life SciencesUniversity of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime CampusChatham, KentUK

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