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Title:
BIOACTIVE GLASS COMPOSITION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/161422
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bioactive glass composition comprising one or more glasses comprising Si02, P205 and a fluoride, the Si02 content being less than 40 mole %, the P205 content being at least 4 mole %, and the fluoride content being greater than 1 mole %. The bioactive glass or glass - ceramic can be used in a number of medical applications, including dental applications such as toothpaste.

Inventors:
HILL, Robert (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
BRAUER, Delia (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
GILLAM, David, G. (Centre for Adult Oral Health, 6th Floor Institute of Dentistry,Queen Mary's School of Medicine & Dentistry,Turner Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AD, GB)
KARPUKHINA, Natalia (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
BUSHBY, Andrew (Queen Mary, University of LondonSchool of Engineering & Materials Science,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
MNEIMNE, Mohammad (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
Application Number:
GB2011/000958
Publication Date:
December 29, 2011
Filing Date:
June 24, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
QUEEN MARY AND WESTFIELD COLLEGE (University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
HILL, Robert (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
BRAUER, Delia (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
GILLAM, David, G. (Centre for Adult Oral Health, 6th Floor Institute of Dentistry,Queen Mary's School of Medicine & Dentistry,Turner Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AD, GB)
KARPUKHINA, Natalia (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
BUSHBY, Andrew (Queen Mary, University of LondonSchool of Engineering & Materials Science,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
MNEIMNE, Mohammad (Dental Physical Sciences Unit, 2nd Floor Francis Bancroft Building,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, GB)
International Classes:
C03C3/062; A61K8/25; A61K8/27; A61Q11/00; C03C4/00; C03C10/16; G01N33/15
Domestic Patent References:
1991-08-22
2006-05-18
Foreign References:
DE3306648A11983-09-22
DE19812278A11999-09-23
JPS60239341A1985-11-28
US4643982A1987-02-17
US20070122356A12007-05-31
US6244871B12001-06-12
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EVANS, Claire et al. (Fry Heath & Spence LLP, The GablesMassetts Roa, Horley Surrey RH6 7DQ, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A bioactive glass composition comprising one or more glasses comprising Si02, P205 and a fluoride, the Si02 content being less than 40 mole %, the P205 content being at least 4 mole %, and the fluoride content being greater than 1 mole %.

2. The bioactive glass composition of claim 1, wherein the Si02 content is less than 39 mole %, more preferably less than 38 mole %, most preferably less than 35 mole %.

3. The bioactive glass composition of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the Si02 content is more than 25 mole %.

4. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the P205 content is greater than 4.5 mole %, more preferably greater than 5 mole %.

5. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the P205 content is less than 10 mole %, more preferably less than 7 mole %.

6. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the fluoride content is greater than 3 mole %, more preferably greater than 4 mole %, most preferably greater than 5 mole %.

7. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the fluoride content is less than 25mole %, more preferably less than 18 mole %.

8. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the composition comprises up to 57 mole %, more preferably up to 50 mole %, of CaO and SrO combined.

9. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the composition comprises up to 40 mole % K20.

10. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the composition comprises up to 5 mole % ZnO and ZnF2 combined.

11. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the composition comprises up to 12 mole % of MgO and MgF2 combined.

12. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim, wherein the composition comprises an apatite.

13. The bioactive glass composition of Claim 12, wherein the composition comprises at least 0.1 weight percent of an apatite.

14. The bioactive glass composition of Claim 12 or Claim 13, wherein the apatite is fluorapatite.

15. The bioactive glass composition of any of Claims 12 to 14, wherein the apatite is crystallised from the glass, and the size of the crystals is in the range 30nm to 5μ, preferably 30nm to 3μ.

16 The bioactive glass composition of Claims 1 to 11, wherein the glass(es) have been pre-treated so that they have crystallised fluorapatite on their surface.

17. The bioactive glass composition of Claim 16, wherein the surface fluorapatite has a crystal size less than 5pm, preferably less than 1μ.

18. The bioactive glass composition of any preceding claim for use in dental applications or as a bone substitute.

19. A bioactive glass composition substantially as described herein with reference to the examples.

20. A toothpaste comprising a bioactive glass composition according to any preceding claim.

Description:
Bioactive Glass Composition

The present invention relates to a bioactive glass composition.

A biologically active (or bioactive) material is one which, when implanted into living tissue, induces formation of an interfacial bond between the material and the surrounding tissue. Bioactive glasses are a group of surface-reactive glasses, which exhibit bioactivity. The bioactivity of these glasses is the result of complex reactions which take place on the surface of the glass under physiological conditions, and which result in the formation of hydroxycarbonated apatite (HCA) on the surface of the glass. The term "bioactive glass" as used herein is intended to encompass bioactive glass-ceramics as well as bioactive glasses. Bioactive glass-ceramics are similar to bioactive glasses but contain a crystalline phase in addition to the glass phase.

Because of the ability of bioactive glasses to bond with living tissue, and in particular bone, they are used in a number of medical applications, including dental applications such as toothpaste.

For many applications, and in particular for toothpastes, it is preferable that the glass phase should release fluoride and form fluorapatite (FAP), instead of HCA. This is because FAP is more resistant to acid dissolution in oral fluids than HCA and aids in the prevention of dental caries. Moreover, fluoride ions are known to aid apatite formation and stimulate the cell division of osteoblasts, the bone forming cells. For these reasons, fluoride may be incorporated into bioactive glasses.

While it is desirable to incorporate a fluoride in a bioactive glass, it has been found that, if the fluoride content of a glass is too high, it will result in the formation of fluorite (CaF 2 ) at the expense of fluorapatite when the glass is immersed in a body fluid.

Another problem that has been found with existing bioactive glasses is that they are very abrasive towards enamel and can result in excessive and undesirable wear of enamel. This is because the known glasses are harder than enamel. The common bioactive glass (45S5) used currently has a measured hardness Of 4.58GPa compared to enamel at approximately 3.5GPa.

It is an object of the invention to seek to mitigate these problems which have been found with existing bioactive glasses.

The invention provides a bioactive glass composition comprising one or more glasses/glass-ceramics comprising Si0 2 , P 2 0 5 and a fluoride, the Si0 2 content being less than 40 mole %, the P 2 0 5 content being at least 4 mole %, and the fluoride content being greater than 1 mole %.

The applicant has found that the tendency of FAP formation to be suppressed at higher concentrations of fluoride is reduced in glasses with a relatively low Si0 2 content and a relatively high phosphate content.

In addition, the applicants have found that glasses with a relatively low Si0 2 content and a relatively high phosphate and fluoride content have lower hardness values and so are softer and less abrasive towards enamel.

Moreover, the applicants have found that such glasses form apatite not only in simulated body fluid (SBF), but also readily in Tris buffer at pH 7.25.

The bioactivity of bioactive glasses is usually studied using an ISO Standard, ISO 23317. Under this standard, the glass is immersed in SBF, a saturated calcium and phosphate solution that mimics the ionic concentrations found in body fluids/blood plasma. If the glass results in the formation of HCA within the time period designated under the standard, then it is termed bioactive. For the purposes of the present patent we extend this definition to include the formation of fluorapatite.

Although bioactivity is usually studied using ISO Standard, ISO 23317, this standard is not particularly suitable for studying bioactivity within the mouth. The reason for this is that saliva is somewhat diluted after taking in liquids and is often no longer saturated with regard to Ca 2+ and P0 4 3' . For this reason, bioactivity may also be investigated using Tris buffer, a simple buffer solution at pH=7.25 which contains no Ca 2+ and P0 4 3~ . This represents a far more severe test of bioactivity.

Accordingly, the fact that compositions according to the invention have been shown to rapidly form FAP following immersion in Tris buffer has particular relevance for dental applications such as toothpastes.

Not only do the compositions according to the invention form apatite in Tris buffer, they also form more apatite than existing bioactive glasses and they form apatite faster than existing bioactive glasses. Thus, in tests, glasses with a low Si0 2 content and a high phosphate content have shown very rapid formation of FAP in under six hours, following immersion in Tris buffer at pH=7.25.

The Si0 2 content of the glass composition is preferably less than 39 mole %, more preferably less than 38 mole % most preferably less than 35 mole %. The Si0 2 content is preferably more than 25 mole %.

The P 2 0 5 content is preferably greater than 4.5 mole %, more preferably greater than 5 mole %. The P 2 0 5 content is preferably less than 10 mole %, more preferably less than 7 mole %.

The applicant has found that incorporating fluoride in the glass composition aids FAP formation, provided that an excessive amount of fluoride is not used. The applicant has also found that higher fluoride contents reduce hardness, which correlates with the glass transition temperature, Tg. The glass composition should therefore preferably have the highest possible fluoride content which is consistent with forming FAP and no fluorite.

Accordingly, the fluoride content is preferably greater than 3 mole %, more preferably greater than 4 mole %, most preferably greater than 5 mole %. The fluoride content is preferably less than 25 mole %, more preferably less than 18 mole %. Strontium may be used to replace calcium and is known to enhance bioactivity. Strontium has a well documented anti caries function and mixed calcium/strontium apatites have a lower solubility product than either the equivalent calcium or strontium apatites. Accordingly, the composition preferably comprises up to 57 mole % of CaO and SrO combined, more preferably up to 50 mole % of CaO and SrO combined.

In high-phosphate containing glasses, the lower charge to size ratio of the Sr 2"1" cation may result in the crystallisation of the glass, which is often undesirable as it reduces the solubility of the glass. Moreover sources of strontium are also much more expensive than sources of calcium which is important when the glasses are to be used in consumer health care products such as toothpaste. Accordingly, the composition preferably comprises less than 30 mole % SrO.

Potassium salts are often added to toothpaste formulations in order to treat dentine hypersensitivity and potassium may be used to replace sodium in the glass for this purpose. Accordingly, the composition may comprise up to 40 mole % K 2 0.

It is important to note, however, that high K/Na ratios are potentially undesirable with regard to their effect on cells. For glasses used in medical applications such as bone substitutes and periodontal treatment a K/Na ratio close to that found in blood plasma of 0.04 is preferred.

Zinc may also be incorporated into the glass. Zinc inhibits apatite formation and is thought to block sites on the apatite crystal lattice and hinder apatite crystal growth. However zinc is often incorporated into toothpastes for its antibacterial and antigingivitis effects. Low zinc plasma levels which occur in many over sixty year olds are also often associated with poor wound healing rates and osteoporosis. Low zinc contents are attractive in glasses for both dental and medical applications for these reasons. Accordingly, the composition may comprise up to 5 mole % ZnO and ZnF 2 combined. The composition may comprise up to 12 mole % of MgO and MgF 2 combined. Like zinc, magnesium acts to suppress apatite crystal growth.

One of the problems with bioactive glasses is that, whilst they dissolve rapidly and form amorphous phases rapidly, the crystallisation process to form an apatite is generally slow. Whilst fluoride speeds this process up, the applicant has found that adding an apatite further accelerates the process.

Accordingly, the composition may comprise an apatite. Preferably, the composition comprises at least 0.1wt% of an apatite. The apatite may be hydroxycarbonated apatite or it may be hydroxyl apatite, but it is preferably fluorapatite. Preferably, the apatite is crystallised, and the size of the crystals is in the range 30nm to 5 microns, preferably 30nm to 3 microns.

The apatite crystals are thought to act as seed nuclei for the formation of apatite and apatite nucleation is thought to be the slow step in the crystallisation of apatite from solution, whilst crystal growth is thought to be rapid. Thus adding an apatite reduces the time to form new apatite from solution.

Small crystals are preferred for this process with a large surface area and a large number density. However small crystals are also desirable as they can enter the dentinal tubules (which are typically 3-5 microns in diameter) and allow more apatite to form on them sealing and blocking the dentinal tubules. This process is shown schematically in Figure 1. A further advantage of using an apatite to seed the nucleation process is that larger bioactive glass particles may be used without the need to have a significant fraction of small (<5microns) bioactive glass particles in the particle size distribution. Such small particles are prone to dissolution and surface reaction with trace amounts of water in the suspending media such as glycerol used for forming the toothpaste.

As an alternative to adding seed apatite crystals to the composition, the glass(es) of the invention may be pre-treated so that they have crystallised to fluorapatite on their surface. This fluorapatite may be a calcium fluorapatite or a mixed fluorapatite comprising strontium.

The surface fluorapatite may have a crystal size less than 5 microns, preferably less than 1 micron.

The pre-treatment may take the form of treatment with SBF or Tris buffer. Alternatively, in the case of fluorine-containing glasses with high phosphate content and low alkali metal content, the glasses may be heat treated at a temperature of between 400 and 850°C to selectively crystallise fluorapatite on their surface.

The bioactive glass compositions of the invention may be used for various dental applications including promoting remineralisation of teeth, preventing caries, blocking dentinal tubules, treating dentine hypersensitivity and treating periodontal disease. They may also be used for various medical applications including use as a bone substitute.

A number of specific embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:

Figure 1 shows schematically the blocking of dentinal tubules using a seed apatite crystal to nucleate further crystallisation of apatite from solution;

Figure 2 shows XRD diffraction patterns of QMMM1 glass after immersion in Tris buffer in order bottom to top 3, 6, 9, 24, 72 and 168 Hrs. Ap = Fluorapatite;

Figure 3 shows XRD diffraction patterns of QMMM2 glass after immersion in Tris buffer in sequential order bottom to top 3, 6, 9, 24, 72 and 168 Hrs. Ap = Fluorapatite;

Figure 4 shows XRD of Glasses 3 to 8 after 9 Hrs in Tris buffer in order of increasing fluorine content. Ap = Fluorapatite, F=Fluorite; Figure 5 shows XRD patterns of Glasses 11 to 16 after 168Hrs in Tris buffer. Note the absence of sharp diffraction lines corresponding to apatite in the fluorine free glass QMEL4 and the presence of fluorite in the high fluorine content glasses;

Figure 6 shows open dentinal tubules in human dentine after exposure to 10% citric;

Figure 7 shows a typical example of blocked dentinal tubules by fluorapatite crystals following etching with citric acid and after exposure to glass QMEL7 for 168 Hrs in Tris buffer;

Figure 8 shows 19 F MAS-NMR spectra of high phosphate fluorine containing glasses after immersion in Tris buffer after 3 days;

Figure 9a shows 31 P MAS-NMR spectra for QMMM1 as a function of immersion time in Tris buffer;

Figure 9b shows the quantitative determination of proportion of residual orthophosphate species in the glass and formation of FAp obtained by deconvolution of 31 P MAS-NMR spectra from Figure 9a;

Figure 10 shows a differential scanning calorimetry trace of Glass QMIF3 showing the glass transition temperature and crystallization exotherms; and

Figure 11 shows the QMMM7 glass-ceramic.

Examples

The glass compositions shown in Table la were synthesised by a melt quench route.

For each composition, appropriate amounts of the oxides and fluorides listed in Table la were weighed out to give approximately 200g of batch. In the case of the oxides of calcium, strontium, sodium and potassium, the respective carbonates were used instead of the oxides. The batch was thoroughly mixed then placed in a 300ml platinum/rhodium crucible. The temperature was raised to between 150 and 1550°C and held at that temperature for 1.5Hrs. The resulting melt was then shock quenched into water to produce a granular glass which was washed with ethanol and dried immediately at 125°C for 1 hour. The glass was then ground in a vibratory puck mill and sieved to give a particle size less than 45 microns prior to characterisation.

Table la Illustrative examples of glass compositions in mole percent

Glass Code Si0 2 p 2 o 5 Na20 CaO SrO NaF CaF 2 SrF 2 K 2 0 ZnO

1 45S5 46.1 2.6 24.3 26.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

2 ICIE1 49.6 1.1 26.4 23.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

3 QMMM1 34.8 5.8 22.7 28.0 0.0 8.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

4 QMSMD 35.5 5.9 27.6 24.1 0.0 0.0 6.9 0.0 0.0 0.0

5 QMMM2 31.7 5.3 16.1 30.0 0.0 17.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

6 QMMM3 29.0 4.8 10.5 31.7 0.0 24.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

7 QMMM4 26.6 4.4 5.6 33.2 0.0 30.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

8 QMMM5 28.4 4.7 22.1 19.3 0.0 0.0 25.5 0.0 0.0 0.0

9 QMMM6 25.7 4.3 19.9 17.4 0.0 0.0 32.7 0.0 0.0 0.0

10 QMMM7 34.6 5.7 0.0 50.4 0.0 0.0 9.3 0.0 0.0 0.0

11 QMEL4 44.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 16.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 8.3 1.0

12 QMEL5Na 42.5 4.8 5.1 16.8 18.0 8.9 0.0 0.0 8.0 1.0

13 QMEL6 40.2 4.6 9.1 13.7 15.2 0.0 4.7 4.0 7.6 0.9

14 QMEL7 38.4 4.4 8.7 13.1 14.5 0.0 6.9 5.9 7.2 0.9

15 QMEL8 36.7 4.2 8.3 12.5 13.9 0.0 9.0 7.7 6.9 0.8

16 QMEL9 33.4 3.8 7.6 11.4 12.6 0.0 13.0 11.1 6.3 0.8

17 QMEL10 30.3 3.4 6.9 10.3 11.5 0.0 16.7 14.4 5.7 0.7

18 QMIF2 35.9 5.9 4.9 48.9 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

19 QMIF3 35.9 5.9 7.3 46.4 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

20 QMIF4 35.9 5.9 9.7 43.9 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

21 CaNaRl 34.5 6.3 14.5 38.9 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

22 CaNaR2 34.5 6.3 19.3 34.1 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

23 CaNaR3 34.5 6.3 24.2 29.2 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

24 CaNaR4 34.5 6.3 29.0 24.4 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

25 PhoIn4 35.6 5.8 25.2 27.6 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

26 PhoIn5 31.7 7.7 26.1 28.7 0.0 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Note Glasses 1-2 and 11 are included for comparison purposes only and are not according to the invention.

Table la includes a number of glasses not covered by the present invention for comparison purposes, including the well known 45S5 glass composition (Glass 1) and the extensively studied and characterised ICIE1 glass composition (Glass 2). These compositions are typical of those used commercially. Also included for comparison is Glass 11, which includes no fluoride, and Glasses 12, 13, 16 and 17 which include various fluoride contents.

In the existing patents and the majority of the published scientific literature, bioactive glasses are generally expressed in weight percent. However since Si0 2 , CaO and Na 2 0 have similar molecular weights (60, 56 and 62 respectively), an amount given in weight percent does not significantly alter when converted to mole percent.

Glasses 3 and 5-8 have Si0 2 contents below 35 mole % and would be regarded as highly invert glasses. An invert glass is a glass where there is less than 50 mole percent of the Si0 2 the network forming oxide. Highly invert glasses are highly disrupted and are prone to crystallisation and are generally difficult to form. However they are very surface reactive and dissolve readily which is a very desirable feature for a bioactive glass. Glasses 6 to 8 have Si0 2 contents below 30 mole %. It is generally considered impossible to produce highly invert glasses (ie with <40mole%SiO 2 ) without resorting to very specialised rapid quenching methods. It was therefore surprising to be able to synthesise glasses with silica contents well below 40 mole% with conventional quenching.

Glass composition 9 (QMMM6) has an exceptionally high fluoride content, and exploded on contact with water during fritting, that is, on pouring the molten liquid glass rapidly into water to produce a granular glass. It is thought that this glass reacted vigorously with water. Table lb Compositions of sodium free glasses

High fluorite content glasses from Table lb crystallised to fluorine containing crystal phases such as FAP cuspidine (Ca 4 Si 2 0 9 F 2 ) and fluorite upon quenching. The amorphous glasses in Table 1 all formed large amounts of apatite within 24 hours in both Tris buffer and SBF. The high melt temperatures of the low fluoride content glasses is undesirable for economic reasons

Each of the glasses of Table la was immersed in a Tris Buffer solution at a concentration of 75mg in 50ml. The Tris Buffer was prepared as follows:

7.545g of Tris (hydroxymethyl) amino methane (THAM) was transferred into a graduated flask filled with approximately 400ml of deionised water. Once the THAM had dissolved, 22.1ml of 2N HCI was added to the flask, which was then made up to 1000ml with deionised water and adjusted to pH 7.25 at 37°C.

All of the Glasses in accordance with the invention formed apatite when immersed in the Tris buffer. Comparative Glasses 1-2 and 11 did not form significant quantities of apatite when immersed in the Tris buffer. As discussed above, immersion in Tris buffer represents a far more severe test of bioactivity than the standard test for bioactivity which determines whether the glass forms an apatite in SBF.

Figures 2 to 11 illustrate the invention. 75mg of glasses 11 to 16 with a particle size <45 microns were added to 50ml of Tris buffer at pH 7.25 along with a 1 mm slice cut through the mid coronal section of a human tooth section treated with 10% citric acid to expose the dentinal tubules.

After periods of 3, 6, 9, 24, 72 and 168Hrs the tooth section was recovered and the solution filtered. The resulting solid was dried at 37°C and examined by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and solid state Magic Angle Spinning - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (MAS-NMR) spectroscopy looking at 19 F and 31 P. The pH of the solution was measured and the free fluoride ion concentration was also measured.

X-ray powder diffraction and FTIR spectroscopy showed the presence of a crystalline apatite formed in solution from 6 Hrs with a split phosphate band at approximately 560cm "1 and 600cm "1 . The amount of apatite formed increased in time up to 24 Hrs. 19 F and 31 P MAS-NMR showed the apatite to be a fluorapatite with a characteristic peak with a chemical shift at -103ppm in the 19 F MAS-NMR spectra and a peak at 2.9ppm in the 31 PMAS-NMR spectra corresponding to fluorapatite.

Examination of the dentine slices by scanning electron microscopy showed the dentinal tubules to be open prior to treatment with the bioactive glasses (Figure 6) and to be occluded after treatment with a calcium phosphate ratio close to that of apatite at 1.6 (Figure 7).

The same procedure was repeated for Glass 1 which is the well known 45S5 glass. XRD and FTIR showed that no significant apatite had been formed under these conditions and there was no occlusion of the dentinal tubules under these conditions.

Figures 2-5 show the formation of apatite after immersion of the glasses in Tris buffer for various times.

Figure 4 shows the formation of apatite and fluorite in Glasses 3 to 8 after 9 hours immersion in Tris buffer. The formation of fluorite at the expense of fluorapatite is seen at higher fluoride contents in the glass. Figure 5 shows the X D diffraction patterns obtained for multicomponent Glasses 11- 16 containing Sr, Zn and K after immersion in Tris buffer for 168 hours. The fluoride free glass, Glass 11, forms no apatite whilst the glasses containing fluoride form apatite until the glass contains 18 mol % MF 2 where M is Ca and Sr, after which both fluorapatite and fluorite form. Above 18 mol % MF 2 , the glass forms predominantly fluorite and relatively little fluorapatite. It can be seen clearly that incorporating fluoride in the glass composition aids fluorapatite formation providing excessive amounts of fluoride are not used. There therefore exists an optimum fluoride content for FAp formation.

Figure 8 shows 19 F MAS-NMR spectra for glasses after immersion in Tris buffer showing the characteristic peak for Fap at -103ppm. Figure 9a shows 31 P MAS-NMR spectra for Glass 4 (QMMM1) following immersion in Tris buffer at pH=7.25 for time periods from 0 to 168Hrs. The phosphorus is present in the initial glass as a mixed Ca/Na orthophosphate species with a chemical shift of approximately 9ppm. Following the immersion the original peak disappears and is progressively replaced by a new peak at about 3ppm corresponding to a calcium orthophosphate of which FAP is an example. Deconvolution of the spectra enables quantification of the proportions of glass and FAP as a function of time which are shown in Figure 9b. It can be seen that this glass forms FAP very rapidly and FAP forms in under 6 Hrs.

Figure 10 shows the DSC trace for glass 18 QMIF3 Table la This glass has a low sodium content and a Tg of about 670°C. The first crystallisation exotherm, Tel corresponds to the crystallisation of FAP. Heat treating this glass to 800°C results in the formation of FAP, which acts as seed crystals for further FAP formation and accelerates the formation of further FAP when immersed in Simulated Body Fluid or Tris buffer. This FAP glass-ceramic may be used either as an additive for toothpastes or as a bone substitute. This glass with its sodium content reduces the melt temperature to below 1500°C which facilitates economical melting compared to glasses containing no alkali metal, as well as casting to form complex shapes required for custom made bone protheses. The higher calcium content compared to glasses of the QMMMl to QMMM5 series facilitates the formation of FAP in Tris buffer and SBF.

FAP was synthesised by mixing tricalcium phosphate (Ca 3 (P0 ) 2 ) and CaF 2 in powder form with a particle size <50 microns in the stoichiometric ratio for FAP. This mixture was then solid state reacted for 16Hrs at 1050°C in an alumina crucible. The resulting solid was ground and sieved to give a powder <5microns. An XRD pattern of the powder showed it to be FAP

The FAP was then added at a concentration of 2.5% to bioactive glass 4 QMSMD Following immersion of the glass/FAP mixture in Tris buffer it was found to accelerate apatite formation and resulting in larger FAP crystals as evidenced by reduced line broadening by XRD.

Table 2 Glass transition temperatures and calculated hardness values for example glasses.

Glass Code Tg Hardness NC

(°C) GPa)

1 45S5 530 4.98 2.11

2 ICIE1 513 4.84 2.09

3 QMMMl 484 4.60 2.08

4 QMSMD 450 4.32 2.08

5 QMMM2 440 4.23 2.08

6 QMMM3 416 4.03 2.08

7 QMMM4 408 3.97 2.08

8 QMMM5 383 3.76 2.08

9 QMMM6 - - 2.08

10 QMMM7 663 6.08 2.08

11 QMEL4 500 4.73 2.44

12 QMEL5 480 4.57 2.43

13 QMEL6 469 4.47 2.44

14 QMEL7 454 4.35 2.44

15 QMEL8 441 4.24 2.44 16 QMEL9 425 4.11 2.44

17 QMEL10 400 3.90 2.44

18 QMIF2 700 6.39 2.08

19 QMIF3 674 6.18 2.08

20 QMIF4 630 5.81 2.08

21 CaNaRl 575 5.35 2

22 CaNaR2 523 4.92 2

23 CaNaR3 487 4.62 2

24 CaNaR4 462 4.42 2

25 Pholnl 485 4.61 2

26 PhoIn4 487 4.62 2

27 PhoIn5 483 4.59 2

Enamel 3.5

Hardness calculated using an experimentally determined model where Hardness =0.0083*Tg+0.5812. Experimentally the hardness of the 45S5 glass was determined to be 4.68GPa. close to the calculated value at 4.98GPa.Note the hardness decreases with increasing fluorine content in the glass for glasses ICSW9 to QMMM5 and from QMEL4 to QMEL10.

Reduced hardness of the glass is an important factor with regard to abrasive wear of toothpastes and the bioactive glass should be no harder than that of enamel in order to avoid enamel wear during tooth brushing.

Figure 11 shows the QMMM7 glass-ceramic. The initial glass was found to contain FAp on slow quenching (Bottom Pattern) and is in fact a FAp glass-ceramic. On immersion of this glass in Tris buffer the amorphous glass phase dissolves forming more FAp. The FAp is thought to form on the existing FAp crystallites. The diffraction lines are much sharper indicating the FAp crystals are >50nm in contrast to totally amorphous glasses in the absence of FAp Crystallites that give rise to broad diffraction lines corresponding to Nano sized FAp crystals (ie <50nm). Similar results were obtained in SBF. Rapid quenching resulted in this glass being amorphous but crystallization of FAp could be achieved by heat treating at 783°C. The above embodiments have been described to illustrate the invention, and are not intended to be limiting. The skilled person will be readily able to devise alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the claims.