Synthesis of Bioactive Hydroxyapatite-Zirconia Toughened Composites for Bone Replacement
Hydroxyapatite (HAp) is a major inorganic component of human hard tissues, such as bones and teeth, and its content determines their microstructures and physical properties. Artificial HAp shows strong biocompatibility and bioactivity and thus it has found broad applications in tissue engineering for replacing damaged hard tissues. The artificial HAp, however, suffers from its intrinsic low mechanical properties, so to meet mechanical requirements, HAp can be incorporated with stiff mineral phases (mullite, zirconia, alumina). The performance and long-term survival of these biomedical devices are also dependent on the presence of bacteria surrounding the implants. In order to reduce the incidence of implant-associated infections, several treatments have been proposed, e.g. introduction of silver or fluoride in the HAp. The objective of this research is the sintering of composites based on calcium phosphate, mainly HAp supported on zirconia, for bone replacement with better microstructural features. In fact the use of zirconia can enhance the mechanical properties of bioceramics. Moreover the introduction of small amounts of silver, which should improve the antibacterial properties, will be taken into consideration since it is expected also to further toughen the whole structure.
Pietro VINCENZINI and Danilo DE ROSSI
B. Cioni et al., "Synthesis of Bioactive Hydroxyapatite-Zirconia Toughened Composites for Bone Replacement ", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 57, pp. 31-36, 2008