The material design of octacalcium phosphate bone substitute: increased dissolution and osteogenecity

Osamu Suzuki, Ryo Hamai, Susumu Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) has been advocated as a precursor of bone apatite crystals. Recent studies have shown that synthetic OCP exhibits highly osteoconductive properties as a bone substitute material that stems from its ability to activate bone tissue-related cells, such as osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts. Accumulated experimental evidence supports the proposition that the OCP-apatite phase conversion under physiological conditions increases the stimulatory capacity of OCP. The conversion of OCP progresses by hydrolysis toward Ca-deficient hydroxyapatite with Ca2+ ion incorporation and inorganic phosphate ion release with concomitant increases in the solid Ca/P molar ratio, specific surface area, and serum protein adsorption affinity. The ionic dissolution rate during the hydrolysis reaction was controlled by introducing a high-density edge dislocation within the OCP lattice by preparing it through co-precipitation with gelatin. The enhanced dissolution intensifies the material biodegradation rate and degree of osteogenecity of OCP. Controlling the biodegradation rate relative to the dissolution acceleration may be vital for controlling the osteogenecity of OCP materials. This study investigates the effects of the ionic dissolution of OCP, focusing on the structural defects in OCP, as the enhanced metastability of the OCP phase modulates biodegradability followed by new bone formation. Statement of significance: Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) is recognized as a highly osteoconductive material that is biodegradable by osteoclastic resorption, followed by new bone formation by osteoblasts. However, if the degradation rate of OCP is increased by maintaining the original osteoconductivity or acquiring a bioactivity better than its current properties, then early replacement with new bone can be expected. Although cell introduction or growth factor addition by scaffold materials is the standard method for tissue engineering, material activity can be augmented by introducing dislocations into the lattice of the OCP. This review article summarizes the effects of introducing structural defects on activating OCP, which was obtained by co-precipitation with gelatin, as a bone substitute material and the mechanism of improved bone replacement performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 1


  • Biodegradation
  • Dislocation
  • Dissolution
  • Octacalcium phosphate
  • Osteogenecity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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