High-strength resorbable brushite bone cement with controlled drug-releasing capabilities

M.P. Hofmann, A.R. Mohammed, Y. Perrie, U. Gbureck, J.E. Barralet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brushite cements differ from apatite-forming compositions by consuming a lot of water in their setting reaction whereas apatite-forming cements consume little or no water at all. Only such cement systems that consume water during setting can theoretically produce near-zero porosity ceramics. This study aimed to produce such a brushite ceramic and investigated whether near elimination of porosity would prevent a burst release profile of incorporated antibiotics that is common to prior calcium phosphate cement delivery matrices. Through adjustment of the powder technological properties of the powder reactants, that is particle size and particle size distribution, and by adjusting citric acid concentration of the liquid phase to 800 mM, a relative porosity of as low as 11% of the brushite cement matrix could be achieved (a 60% reduction compared to previous studies), resulting in a wet unprecompacted compressive strength of 52 MPa (representing a more than 100% increase to previously reported results) with a workable setting time of 4.5 min of the cement paste. Up to 2 wt.% of vancomycin and ciprofloxacin could be incorporated into the cement system without loss of wet compressive strength. It was found that drug release rates could be controlled by the adjustable relative porosity of the cement system and burst release could be minimized and an almost linear release achieved, but the solubility of the antibiotic (vancomycin > ciprofloxacin) appeared also to be a crucial factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • calcium phosphate cement
  • brushite
  • mechanical properties
  • controlled drug release
  • bone cement


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