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The effect of water on the mechanical properties of soluble and insoluble ceramic cements

, : The effect of water on the mechanical properties of soluble and insoluble ceramic cements. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 51: 50-60

Ceramic cements are good candidates for the stabilization of fractured bone due to their potential ease of application and biological advantages. New formulations of ceramic cements have been tested for their mechanical properties, including strength, stiffness, toughness and durability. The changes in the mechanical properties of a soluble cement (calcium sulfate) upon water-saturation (saturation) was reported in our previous study, highlighting the need to test ceramic cements using saturated samples. It is not clear if the changes in the mechanical properties of ceramic cements are exclusive to soluble cements. Therefore the aim of the present study was to observe the changes in the mechanical properties of soluble and insoluble ceramic cements upon saturation. A cement with high solubility (calcium sulfate dihydrate, CSD) and a cement with low solubility (dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, DCPD) were tested. Three-point bending tests were performed on four different groups of: saturated CSD, non-saturated CSD, saturated DCPD, and non-saturated DCPD samples. X-ray diffraction analysis and scanning electron microscopy were also performed on a sample from each group. Flexural strength, effective flexural modulus and flexural strain at maximum stress, lattice volume, and crystal sizes and shape were compared, independently, between saturated and non-saturated groups of CSD and DCPD. Although material dissolution did not occur in all cases, all calculated mechanical properties decreased significantly in both CSD and DCPD upon saturation. The results indicate that the reductions in the mechanical properties of saturated ceramic cements are not dependent on the solubility of a ceramic cement. The outcome raised the importance of testing any implantable ceramic cements in saturated condition to estimate its in vivo mechanical properties.


PMID: 26210548

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.06.030

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