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Nanocrystalline Calcium Phosphate Ceramics In Biomedical Engineering

S. Kalita, A. Bhardwaj, H. A. Bhatt
Published 2007 · Materials Science

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Abstract Nanocrystalline calcium phosphate based bioceramics are the new rage in biomaterials research. Conventionally, calcium phosphates based materials are preferred as bone grafts in hard tissue engineering because of their superior biocompatibility and bioactivity. However, this group of bioceramics exhibits poor mechanical performance, which restricts their uses in load bearing applications. The recent trend in bioceramic research is mainly concentrated on bioactive and bioresorbable ceramics, i.e. hydroxyapatite, bioactive glasses, tricalcium phosphates and biphasic calcium phosphates as they exhibit superior biological properties over other materials. In recent times, the arena of nanotechnology has been extensively studied by various researchers to overcome the existing limitations of calcium phosphates, mainly hydroxyapatite, as well as to fabricate nanostructured scaffolds to mimic structural and dimensional details of natural bone. The bone mineral consists of tiny HAp crystals in the nano-regime. It is found that nanocrystalline HAp powders improve sinterability and densification due to greater surface area, which could improve the fracture toughness and other mechanical properties. Nano-HAp is also expected to have better bioactivity than coarser crystals. Nanocrystalline calcium phosphate has the potential to revolutionize the field of hard tissue engineering from bone repair and augmentation to controlled drug delivery devices. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge and recent developments of various nanocrystalline calcium phosphate based bioceramics from synthesis to characterization.
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