Bioglass, which has a composition of sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate, phosphorous pentoxide and silica, has been shown to bond to living bone. This ability is dependent on controlled surface reactions. Investigators with 45S5 bioglass have demonstrated that the formation of a SiO2-rich layer and a calcium phosphate film on its surface in an aqueous environment is associated with the film bonding the bioglass to bone. The objects of this research were:
- 1To study SiO2 dependence on the formation of a silica-rich layer and calcium phosphate films on a bioglass surface in a simulated physiological solution, and
- 2To establish a correlation between in vitro surface reactions and in vivo bonding ability.
It was discovered that three types of reactions occur in a simulated physiological solution depending on bioglass composition:
- 1A calcium phosphate film and SiO2-rich layer form simultaneously and the reaction rate is fast for bioglasses which have a lower content of SiO2 (∼46 mol% SiO2).
- 2A SiO2-rich layer forms first and a calcium phosphate film develops later between the aqueous environment and the SiO2-rich layer for bioglasses whose SiO2 content is between 46–55 mol %.
- 3A calcium phosphate film does not form for glasses whose SiO2 content is more than 60 mol %.