Lath-like Structure of -Tricalcium Phosphate in Orthopedic Implants

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The lath-like -tricalcium phosphate (-TCP) in the sintered porous -TCP implants was revealed by transmission electron microscope (TEM). Samples of sintered porous -TCP implants were extracted from rabbit tibia after implanted for 1–6 months. Although the majority of sintered -TCP particles are in a granular shape, the lath-like structures of implants are observed occasionally. The length of laths is on the order of 1 m, while the thickness of laths is on the order of 10 nm. The X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy and the electron diffraction indicate that the lath-like material is -TCP with its rhombohedral ( ) plane parallel to the longitudinal direction of laths. High resolution TEM imaging also confirms the finding of electron diffraction. This abnormal morphology of -TCP have raised our attention, even though its formation mechanism and effects on osseointegration is not yet certain.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Biomedical Materials & Engineering Centre, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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