Role of iron on physical and mechanical properties of brushite cements, and interaction with human dental pulp stem cells

Author ORCID Identifier

Joshua Marble:

Publication Title

Ceramics International



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Improving the physical, mechanical and biological properties of brushite cements (BrC) is of a great interest for using them in bone and dental tissue engineering applications. The objective of this study was to incorporate iron (Fe) at different concentrations (0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 wt%) to BrC and study the role of Fe on phase composition, setting time, compressive strength, and interaction with human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs). Results showed that increase in Fe concentration increases the β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP)/dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) ratio and prolongs the initial and final setting time due to effective role of Fe on stabilizing the β-TCP crystal structure and retarding its dissolution kinetic, in a dose dependent manner where the highest setting time was recorded for 1.00 wt% Fe–BrC sample. Addition of low concentrations of Fe (0.25 and 0.50 wt%) did not have adverse effect on compressive strength and strength was in the range of 5.7–7.05 (±~1.4) MPa; however, presence of 1.00 wt% Fe decreases the strength of BrC from 7.05 ± 1.57 MPa to 3.12 ± 1.06 MPa. Interaction between the BrCs and hDPSCs was evaluated by cell proliferation assay, scanning electron microscopy, and live/dead staining. Low concentrations of 0.25, and 0.50 wt% of Fe did not have any adverse effect on cell attachment and proliferation; while significant decrease in cellular activity was evident in BrC samples doped with 1.00 wt %. Together, these data show that low concentrations of Fe (equal or less than 0.50 wt %) can be safely added to BrC without any adverse effect on physical, mechanical and biological properties in presence of hDPSCs.

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Brushite cement, Cellular proliferation, Human dental pulp stem cells, Iron, Setting reaction


Department of Mechanical Engineering