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Issue 24, 2005
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The structure of a bioactive calcia–silica sol–gel glass

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We have used neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution to gain new insights into the nature of the atomic scale calcium environment in bioactive sol–gel glasses, and also used high energy X-ray total diffraction to probe the nature of the processes initiated when bioactive glass is immersed in vitro in simulated body fluid (SBF). Recent work has highlighted the potential of sol–gel derived calcium silicate glasses for the regeneration or replacement of damaged bone tissue. The mechanism of bioactivity and the requirements for optimisation of the properties of these materials are as yet only partially understood but have been strongly linked to calcium dissolution from the glass matrix. The data obtained point to a complex calcium environment in which calcium is loosely bound within the glass network and may therefore be regarded as facile. Complex multi-stage dissolution and mineral growth phases were observed as a function of reaction time between 1 min and 30 days, leading eventually to the formation of a disordered hydroxyapatite (HA) layer on the glass surface, which is similar to the polycrystalline bone mineral hydroxyapatite. This methodology provides insight into the structure of key sites in these materials and key stages involved in their reactions, and thereby more generally into the behaviour of bone-regenerative materials that may facilitate improvements in tissue engineering applications.

Graphical abstract: The structure of a bioactive calcia–silica sol–gel glass

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Jan 2005, accepted on 19 Apr 2005 and first published on 29 Apr 2005

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B501496D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2005,15, 2369-2374
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    The structure of a bioactive calcia–silica sol–gel glass

    L. J. Skipper, F. E. Sowrey, D. M. Pickup, K. O. Drake, M. E. Smith, P. Saravanapavan, L. L. Hench and R. J. Newport, J. Mater. Chem., 2005, 15, 2369
    DOI: 10.1039/B501496D

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