Silicon substitution in the calcium phosphate bioceramics
Silicon (Si) substitution in the crystal structures of calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramics such as hydroxyapatite (HA) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) generates materials with superior biological performance to stoichiometric counterparts. Si, an essential trace element required for healthy bone and connective tissues, influences the biological activity of CaP materials by modifying material properties and by direct effects on the physiological processes in skeletal tissue. The synthesis of Si substituted HA (Si-HA), Si substituted α-TCP (Si-α-TCP), and multiphase systems are reviewed. The biological performance of these Si substituted CaP materials in comparison to stoichiometric counterparts is discussed. Si substitution promotes biological activity by the transformation of the material surface to a biologically equivalent apatite by increasing the solubility of the material, by generating a more electronegative surface and by creating a finer microstructure. When Si is included in the TCP structure, recrystallization to a carbonated HA is mediated by serum proteins and osteoblast-like cells. Release of Si complexes to the extracellular media and the presence of Si at the material surface may induce additional dose-dependent stimulatory effects on cells of the bone and cartilage tissue systems.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 28, Issue 28, October 2007, Pages 4023–4032