Synthetic calcium phosphates, despite their bioactivity, are brittle. Calcium phosphate- mullite composites have been suggested as potential dental and bone replacement materials which exhibit increased toughness. Aluminium, present in mullite, has however been linked to bone demineralisation and neurotoxicity: it is therefore important to characterise the materials fully in order to understand their in vivo behaviour. The present work reports the compositional mapping of the interfacial region of a calcium phosphate-20 wt% mullite biocomposite/soft tissue interface, obtained from the samples implanted into the long bones of healthy rabbits according to standard protocols (ISO-10993) for up to 12 weeks. X-ray micro-fluorescence was used to map simultaneously the distribution of Al, P, Si and Ca across the ceramic-soft tissue interface. A well defined and sharp interface region was present between the ceramic and the surrounding soft tissue for each time period examined. The concentration of Al in the surrounding tissue was found to fall by two orders of magnitude, to the background level, within ~35 μm of the implanted ceramic.
|Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine
|Published - 30 Aug 2011