The suitability of Glass Polyalkenoate Cements (GPCs) for use in orthopaedics is retarded by the presence in the glass phase of aluminum, a neurotoxin. Unfortunately, the aluminum ion plays an integral role in the setting process of GPCs and its absence is likely to hinder cement formation. However, the authors have previously shown that aluminum free GPCs may be formulated based on calcium zinc silicate glasses and these novel materials exhibit significant potential as hard tissue biomaterials. To further improve their potential and given that Strontium (Sr) based drugs have had success in the treatment of osteoporosis, the authors have substituted Calcium (Ca) with Sr in the glass phase of a series of aluminum free GPCs. However, to date little data exists on the effect SrO has on the structure and reactivity of SrO-CaO-ZnO-SiO2 glasses. The objective of this work was to characterise the effect of the Ca/Sr substitution on the structure of such glasses, and evaluate the subsequent reactivity of these glasses with an aqueous solution of Polyacrylic acid (PAA). To this end 29Si MAS-NMR, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction, and network connectivity calculations, were used to characterize the structure of four strontium calcium zinc silicate glasses. Following glass characterization, GPCs were produced from each glass using a 40 wt% solution of PAA (powder:liquid = 2:1.5). The working times and setting times of the GPCs were recorded as per International standard ISO9917. The results acquired as part of this research indicate that the substitution of Ca for Sr in the glasses examined did not appear to significantly affect the structure of the glasses investigated. However it was noted that increasing the amount of Ca substituted for Sr did result in a concomitant increase in setting times, a feature that may be attributable to the higher basicity of SrO over CaO. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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01 Feb 2008

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