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Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement with E-Glass Fibre

Authors: Sudip Dasgupta, Debosmita Pani, Kanchan Maji


Calcium Phosphate Cement (CPC) due to its high bioactivity and optimum bioresorbability shows excellent bone regeneration capability. Despite it has limited applications as bone implant due to its macro-porous microstructure causing its poor mechanical strength. The reinforcement of apatitic CPCs with biocompatible fibre glass phase is an attractive area of research to improve upon its mechanical strength. Here, we study the setting behaviour of Si-doped and un-doped α tri calcium phosphate (α - TCP) based CPC and its reinforcement with addition of E-glass fibre. Alpha Tri calcium phosphate powders were prepared by solid state sintering of CaCO3 , CaHPO4 and Tetra Ethyl Ortho Silicate (TEOS) was used as silicon source to synthesize Si doped α-TCP powders. Both initial and final setting time of the developed cement was delayed because of Si addition. Crystalline phases of HA (JCPDS 9- 432), α-TCP (JCPDS 29-359) and β-TCP (JCPDS 9-169) were detected in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern after immersion of CPC in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 0 hours to 10 days. As Si incorporation in the crystal lattice stabilized the TCP phase, Si doped CPC showed little slower rate of conversion into HA phase as compared to un-doped CPC. The SEM image of the microstructure of hardened CPC showed lower grain size of HA in un-doped CPC because of premature setting and faster hydrolysis of un-doped CPC in SBF as compared that in Si-doped CPC. Premature setting caused generation of micro and macro porosity in un-doped CPC structure which resulted in its lower mechanical strength as compared to that in Si-doped CPC. It was found that addition of 10 wt% of E-glass fibre into Si-doped α-TCP increased the average DTS of CPC from 8 MPa to 15 MPa as the fibres could resists the propagation of crack by deflecting the crack tip. Our study shows that biocompatible E-glass fibre in optimum proportion in CPC matrix can enhance the mechanical strength of CPC without affecting its biocompatibility. 

Keywords: Biocompatibility, calcium phosphate cement, e-glass fibre, diametral tensile strength

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