We have produced three kinds of apatite-containing glass ceramics of the same chemical composition: MgO (4.6), CaO (44.9), SiO2 (34.2), P2O5 (16.3), CaF2 (0.5) (in weight ratio). They contain different crystal combinations and have different mechanical properties.

The first glass ceramic (A–;GC) was prepared by heating a glass plate to 870°C. It contains only oxy- and fluoroapatite (35 wt%). The second glass ceramic (A–W–GC), and the third (A–W–CP–GC), were prepared by heating glass powder compacts to 1050°C and 1200°C, respectively. A–W–GC contains oxyapatite and fluoroapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(O,F2)) (35 wt%) and β-wollastonite (40 wt%). A–W–CP–GC contains oxyapatite and fluoroapatite (20 wt%), β-wollastonite (CaO·SiO2) (55 wt%), and β-whitlockite (3CaO·P2O5) (15 wt%). The bending strengths of A–;GC, A–W–GC, and A–W–CP–GC were 88MPa, 178MPa, and 213MPa, respectively, in air.

Rectangular ceramic plates (15mm × 10mm × 2mm) were implanted into a rabbit tibia. Ten and 25 weeks after implantation, the segment of tibia with implant was excised for examination. The segment was held by a special jig and the traction breaking load (failure load) was measured by an autograph.

A–;GC showed a lower load than A–W–GC and A–W–CP–GC. The loads for A–W–GC and A–W–CP–GC were almost equal. The failure loads did not change significantly between 10 and 25 weeks for any of the materials.

The interface was examined by Giemsa surface staining, contact micro-radiography, and SEM-EPMA. Giemsa surface staining and CMR revealed direct bonding between the materials and the bone for all the three materials.

SEM-EPMA showed that Si and Mg content decreased, Ca content did not change, and P content increased at the reaction zone between all three glass ceramics and bone. This was observed at 10 weeks, as well as at 25 weeks, after implantation. The reaction zone was narrowest with A–;GC, wider with A–W–GC, and widest with A–W–CP–GC.