Calcium phosphate-based bone cements have been widely adopted in both orthopedic and dental applications. Phosphoserine (pSer), which has a natural role in biomineralization, has been identified to possess the functionality to react with calcium phosphate phases, such as tetracalcium phosphate (TTCP) and α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP), and form a uniquely adhesive cement. This study investigated the chemical composition and phase evolution of a heterogeneous calcium phosphate (56% TTCP and 15% α-TCP) and pSer cement system with respect to pH. The coordination network of calcium phosphoserine monohydrate was discovered as the predominant crystalline phase of this adhesive apatitic cement system. Furthermore, it was determined that pH has a significant effect on the reaction kinetics of the system, whereby a lower pH tends to accelerate the reaction rate and favor products with lower Ca/P ratios. These findings provide a better understanding of the reaction and products of this adhesive organo-ceramic cement, which can be compositionally tuned for broad applications in the orthopedic and dental spaces. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The application of self-setting calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) in hard tissue regeneration has been a topic of significant research since their introduction to the field 30 years ago. Traditional CPCs, however, are limited by their suboptimal mechanical properties due to their solely inorganic composition. Recently, it was discovered that monomeric phosphoserine (pSer) is capable of serving as a setting reagent for a subset of CPC systems, resulting in an adhesive organo-ceramic composite. Despite its adhesive functionality and biomedical potential, its reaction chemistry and product composition were not well characterized. The present study identifies a calcium phosphoserine coordination network as the primary crystalline phase of this apatitic cement system and further characterizes compositional tunability of the products with respect to pH.
Keywords: Adhesive; Calcium phosphate; Cement; Coordination network; Dental; Orthopedic; Phosphoserine.
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