A review of the bioactivity of hydraulic calcium silicate cements

J Dent. 2014 May;42(5):517-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.12.015. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Objectives: In tissue regeneration research, the term "bioactivity" was initially used to describe the resistance to removal of a biomaterial from host tissues after intraosseous implantation. Hydraulic calcium silicate cements (HCSCs) are putatively accepted as bioactive materials, as exemplified by the increasing number of publications reporting that these cements produce an apatite-rich surface layer after they contact simulated body fluids.

Methods: In this review, the same definitions employed for establishing in vitro and in vivo bioactivity in glass-ceramics, and the proposed mechanisms involved in these phenomena are used as blueprints for investigating whether HCSCs are bioactive.

Results: The literature abounds with evidence that HCSCs exhibit in vitro bioactivity; however, there is a general lack of stringent methodologies for characterizing the calcium phosphate phases precipitated on HCSCs. Although in vivo bioactivity has been demonstrated for some HCSCs, a fibrous connective tissue layer is frequently identified along the bone-cement interface that is reminiscent of the responses observed in bioinert materials, without accompanying clarifications to account for such observations.

Conclusions: As bone-bonding is not predictably achieved, there is insufficient scientific evidence to substantiate that HCSCs are indeed bioactive. Objective appraisal criteria should be developed for more accurately defining the bioactivity profiles of HCSCs designed for clinical use.

Keywords: Bioactivity; Calcium silicate; Hydraulic cement; In vitro; In vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apatites / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Bone Cements / chemistry
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Calcium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Calcium Phosphates / chemistry
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Connective Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Silicate Cement / chemistry*
  • Silicates / chemistry*


  • Apatites
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bone Cements
  • Calcium Compounds
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Silicates
  • Silicate Cement
  • calcium phosphate
  • calcium silicate