Synthesis, characterization and cell behavior of fluoridated hydroxyapatite

Date of Completion

January 2007


Engineering, Materials Science




Fluorine-containing hydroxyapatite (Ca5(PO4) 3(OH)1-xFx FHA), where F- partially replaces OH- in hydroxyapatite (HA), is recognized as a possible biomaterial for bone and tooth implants and gaining attention in the last several years as a possible alternative to HA. In this study, FHA powders were synthesized through a pH-cycling method. It was discovered that fluorine incorporation increased with the fluorine content in the initial solution and the number of pH cycles employed. A relatively low fluorine incorporation efficiency, ∼60%, was attained for most of the FHA samples. The short time of stay at each pH cycle and the limited number of cycles used are believed to be the main reasons of the low fluorine incorporation into the apatite structure. It was also revealed that the FHA particles produced by the pH-cycling method were inhomogeneous. They were a mixture of hydroxyapatite and F-rich apatite (or FA) particles. The mechanisms of incorporation of fluorine ions into hydroxyapatite by a pH cyclicing method were studied using TEM, XRD and fluorine measurement. Instead of forming laminated structures as reported by other research groups, a mixture of nano-sized F-rich apatite (FHA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) particles were obtained using the pH-cyclicing method. After calcination, these FHA particles were homogenized and became single phased FHA. ^ The effect of fluorine content, preparing method, and sintering temperature on both the bulk density and biaxial flexural strength of sintered FHA was studied. Both uniaxially pressed un-milled (UPU) and cold isostatically pressed milled (IPM) FHA discs were sintered at temperatures between 1200∼400°C at an interval of 100°C. It was found that the fluorine content had a significant impact on the sintering behavior, densification, and mechanical properties of FHA discs. A close correlation between the sintered density and biaxial flexural strength of the specimens was revealed, where the biaxial flexural strength increased exponentially with the sintered density. ^ FHA discs with various fluorine contents have been used to investigate the effect of fluorine content on osteoblastic cell behaviors. Rat osteosarcoma (ROS 17/28) cells were cultured on FHA discs for appropriate times. The osteoblastic cell behaviors were examined in terms of cell attachment, proliferation, morphology and differentiation. The fluorine content in FHA strongly affected the cell activities. More cell attachment and proliferation were observed on the fluorine-containing FHA than pure HA. Fluorine content also affected the differentiation behaviors of osteoblastic cells. Cells on fluorine-containing FHA had higher alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity than pure HA in 2 weeks. The morphology of the cells showed that it took less time for cells to cover the surface of fluorine-containing samples than that of pure HA. These results suggested that fluorine ions had a significant impact on osteoblastic cell behaviors. ^