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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 575079, 17 pages
Research Article

Long-Term In Vitro Degradation of a High-Strength Brushite Cement in Water, PBS, and Serum Solution

Division of Applied Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden

Received 22 May 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Vladimir S. Komlev

Copyright © 2015 Ingrid Ajaxon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bone loss and fractures may call for the use of bone substituting materials, such as calcium phosphate cements (CPCs). CPCs can be degradable, and, to determine their limitations in terms of applications, their mechanical as well as chemical properties need to be evaluated over longer periods of time, under physiological conditions. However, there is lack of data on how the in vitro degradation affects high-strength brushite CPCs over longer periods of time, that is, longer than it takes for a bone fracture to heal. This study aimed at evaluating the long-term in vitro degradation properties of a high-strength brushite CPC in three different solutions: water, phosphate buffered saline, and a serum solution. Microcomputed tomography was used to evaluate the degradation nondestructively, complemented with gravimetric analysis. The compressive strength, chemical composition, and microstructure were also evaluated. Major changes from 10 weeks onwards were seen, in terms of formation of a porous outer layer of octacalcium phosphate on the specimens with a concomitant change in phase composition, increased porosity, decrease in object volume, and mechanical properties. This study illustrates the importance of long-term evaluation of similar cement compositions to be able to predict the material’s physical changes over a relevant time frame.