Bridging beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) granules with dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) creates a porous, interconnected β-TCP granular cement (GC) that is useful for reconstructing bone defects: the interconnected pores can accelerate new bone ingrowth and the set cement prevents the loss of granules from the bone defect area. However, the setting time of β-TCP GC in an acidic calcium phosphate solution is too short (<1 min) for handling in clinical applications, such as in orthopedic surgery. To address this issue, we sought to optimize the setting time of β-TCP GC using β-TCP granules and NaHSO4 solution, as (Formula presented.) is a known inhibitor of DCPD formation. Both DCPD and calcium sulfate dihydrate (CSD) precipitated on the surface of β-TCP granules and bridged β-TCP granules to one another. Increasing NaHSO4 concentration (from 0.5 mol/L to 5 mol/L) led to an increase in the amount of precipitant from 2.6 ± 0.2% to 21.6 ± 1.3% for DCPD and 1.3 ± 0.3% to 10.1 ± 0.5% for CSD. The diametral tensile strength was also increased from 0.03 ± 0.01 MPa to 2.0 ± 0.1 MPa with increasing NaHSO4 concentration. When 2 mol/L NaHSO4 solution was used as the liquid phase, setting time became 5.3 ± 0.2 min, which is suitable for handling in clinical applications to repair bone defects. In conclusion, β-TCP GC using NaHSO4 solution as the liquid phase has good potential value as bone augmentation cement.
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