This study proposes a new guideline for designing biodegradable apatite ceramics. Boron-containing hydroxyapatite (BHAp) particles were prepared by a high-temperature solid-state reaction processing method and were characterized in terms of their chemical composition, apatite lattice defects and in vitro biodegradability. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance analysis showed that boron-incorporation into hydroxyapatite (HAp) derived by thermo-chemical reactions between borate and calcium phosphate phases led to disordered phases (BCaP) of a CaO–P2O5–B2O3–OH system covering the crystalline HAp core. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that the BCaP phase must consist mainly of a crystalline oxyboroapatite (OBAp) phase. An in vitro biodegradability test showed that BHAp degraded quicker than HAp or β-tricalcium phosphate. The biodegradability of BHAp particles can be controlled by boron incorporation into a HAp lattice leading to the formation of a disordered OBAp phase.
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