Recently, phosphate-based glass (PBG) fibers have been used to reinforce the biodegradable polymers polycaprolactone and polylactic acid, in order to fabricate materials suitable for use as resorbable bone fracture fixation devices. However, the PBG fibers investigated tended to degrade too quickly for application. Therefore, more durable PBG formulations were sought with emphasis remaining firmly placed on their biocompatibility. In this study, four invert PBG formulations (in the system P2O5—CaO—MgO—Na 2O) were produced with fixed phosphate and calcium content at 40 and 25 mol%, respectively. MgO was added at 10—30 mol% in place of Na 2O and the maximum divalent cation to phosphate ratio obtained was 1.375. Thermal analyses showed a linear increase in Tg with increasing MgO content. This was proposed to be due to an increase in the cross-link density of the glass network, which also improved the chemical durability of the glass. EDX analyses were also conducted to verify the final composition of the glass. XRD analyses confirmed the amorphous nature of the glasses investigated. Rapid quenching of the Mg30 glass revealed a degree of surface crystallization, which was shown to be a CaMgP2O7 phase. The degradation rates of the glasses investigated decreased with increasing MgO content. The decrease in rate seen was almost two orders of magnitude (a ×50 difference was seen between glass Mg0 and Mg30). The cytocompatibility studies of the formulations investigated showed good cellular response over time for up to 14 days. Statistical analysis revealed that the formulations investigated gave a response comparable to the tissue culture plastic control. It is suggested that invert PBG provide degradation profiles and the cytocompatibility response desired to make these glasses useful for bone repair applications.
Posted by Colin Scotchford |