An X-ray micro-fluorescence study to investigate the distribution of Al, Si, P and Ca ions in the surrounding soft tissue after implantation of a calcium phosphate-mullite ceramic composite in a rabbit animal model

Richard A. Martin, Zahira Jaffer, Garima Tripathi, Shekhar Nath, Mira Mohanty, Victoria FitzGerald, Pierre Lagarde, Anne-Marie Flank, Artemis Stamboulis, Bikramjit Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Synthetic calcium phosphates, despite their bioactivity, are brittle. Calcium phosphate-mullite composites have been suggested as potential dental and bone replacement materials which exhibit increased toughness. Aluminium, present in mullite, has however been linked to bone demineralisation and neurotoxicity: it is therefore important to characterise the materials fully in order to understand their in vivo behaviour. The present work reports the compositional mapping of the interfacial region of a calcium phosphate-20 wt% mullite biocomposite/soft tissue interface, obtained from the samples implanted into the long bones of healthy rabbits according to standard protocols (ISO-10993) for up to 12 weeks. X-ray micro-fluorescence was used to map simultaneously the distribution of Al, P, Si and Ca across the ceramic-soft tissue interface. A well defined and sharp interface region was present between the ceramic and the surrounding soft tissue for each time period examined. The concentration of Al in the surrounding tissue was found to fall by two orders of magnitude, to the background level, within similar to 35 mu m of the implanted ceramic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2537-2543
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Science : Materials in Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date30 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


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