A review of the mechanical behavior of CaP and CaP/polymer composites for applications in bone replacement and repair

Amy J. Wagoner Johnson, Brad A. Herschler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Repair of load-bearing defects resulting from disease or trauma remains a critical barrier for bone tissue engineering. Calcium phosphate (CaP) scaffolds are among the most extensively studied for this application. However, CaPs are reportedly too weak for use in such defects and, therefore, have been limited to non-load-bearing applications. This paper reviews the compression, flexural and tensile properties of CaPs and CaP/polymer composites for applications in bone replacement and repair. This review reveals interesting trends that have not, to our knowledge, previously been reported. Data are classified as bulk, scaffolds, and composites, then organized in order of decreasing strength. This allows for general comparisons of magnitudes of strength both within and across classifications. Bulk and scaffold strength and porosity overlap significantly and scaffold data are comparable to bone both in strength and porosity. Further, for compression, all composite data fall below those of the bulk and most of the scaffold. Another interesting trend revealed is that strength decreases with increasing β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) content for CaP scaffolds and with increasing CaP content for CaP/polymer composites. The real limitation for CaPs appears not to be strength necessarily, but toughness and reliability, which are rarely characterized. We propose that research should focus on novel ways of toughening CaPs and discuss several potential strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-30
Number of pages15
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Calcium phosphate
  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties
  • Porosity
  • Scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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