The Journal of chemical physics

Structural study of Al2O3-Na2O-CaO-P2O5 bioactive glasses as a function of aluminium content.

PMID 23343279


Calcium phosphate based biomaterials are extensively used in the context of tissue engineering: small changes in composition can lead to significant changes in properties allowing their use in a wide range of applications. Samples of composition (Al(2)O(3))(x)(Na(2)O)(0.11-x)(CaO)(0.445)(P(2)O(5))(0.445), where x = 0, 0.03, 0.05, and 0.08, were prepared by melt quenching. The atomic-scale structure has been studied using neutron diffraction and solid state (27)Al MAS NMR, and these data have been rationalised with the determined density of the final glass product. With increasing aluminium concentration the density increases initially, but beyond about 3 mol. % Al(2)O(3) the density starts to decrease. Neutron diffraction data show a concomitant change in the aluminium speciation, which is confirmed by (27)Al MAS NMR studies. The NMR data reveal that aluminium is present in 4, 5, and 6-fold coordination and that the relative concentrations of these environments change with increasing aluminium concentration. Materials containing aluminium in 6-fold coordination tend to have higher densities than analogous materials with the aluminium found in 4-fold coordination. Thus, the density changes may readily be explained in terms of an increase in the relative concentration of 4-coordinated aluminium at the expense of 6-fold aluminium as the Al(2)O(3) content is increased beyond 3 mol. %.