Objectives. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the integration of calcium phosphate cement (CPC) implants in biological tissue. Methods. An in vitro continuous flow system was employed to examine the protracted behavior of disc-shaped specimens of this bioactive material under sustained physiological-like solution conditions. Weight measurement, diametral tensile strength measurement (DTS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the CPC samples as a function of immersion time. Results. When CPC was immersed in simulated blood plasma in which the Ca (2.5 mmol/L) and inorganic phosphate (1.0 mmol/L levels were kept constant, both the weight and DTS of the specimens steadily increased to about 1.5 times their original values over a period of 20 wk. SEM obsevations showed new precipitate formations in intimate contact with the original CPC surface. FTIR and XRD analyses revealed that the precipitate was a B-type carbonate hydroxyapatite (OHAp), the type of OHAp observed in bone and dentin. On the other hand, the interior of CPC discs did not show an increase in either bulk density or OHAp content. Thus, the increases in weight and DTS are attributal to the OHAp precipitation on the CPC surface. Significance. The results suggest that under in vivo conditions, CPC implants would not dissolve in physiological fluids. OHAp coatings may form on the implants, which may enhance bonding of implants to bone by mechanically strengthening the interface between them.
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