The in vivo setting behaviour of fast-setting calcium phosphate cement (FSCPC) between femoral muscles of the rat was investigated to evaluate the possible value of FSCPC for medical and dental application. Conventional CPC (c-CPC) and FSCPC were implanted between femoral muscles, and various aspects of the setting behaviour such as setting time, mechanical strength and conversion ratio of cement into hydroxyapatite (HAP: Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) were measured by the Vicat needle method, diametral tensile strength (DTS) measurement, and quantitative powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, respectively. The setting time of FSCPC in vivo was 5-7 min, in contrast to 48 min for c-CPC. As a result of its fast setting, set specimens of FSCPC showed higher mechanical strength from the initial stage than c-CPC. Higher DTS values were observed in FSCPC than c-CPC implanted after 24 h. Powder XRD analysis revealed faster conversion of FSCPC than c-CPC into HAP, which was responsible both for the faster setting and higher mechanical strength from the initial stage. We concluded, therefore, that FSCPC may be used for a wide range of clinical applications, i.e. fields where fast setting is required such as orthopaedic, plastic and reconstructive, and oral and maxillo-facial surgery.
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