a1 Center for Materials Design, Materials and Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226, Japan
This paper reviews the past, present, and future of the hydroxyapatite (HAp)-based biomaterials from the point of view of preparation of hard tissue replacement implants. Properties of the hard tissues are also described. The mechanical reliability of the pure HAp ceramics is low, therefore it cannot be used as artificial teeth or bones. For these reasons, various HAp-based composites have been fabricated, but only the HAp-coated titanium alloys have found wide application. Among the others, the microstructurally controlled HAp ceramics such as fibers/whiskers-reinforced HAp, fibrous HAp-reinforced polymers, or biomimetically fabricated HAp/collagen composites seem to be the most suitable ceramic materials for the future hard tissue replacement implants.
(Received February 03 1997)
(Accepted July 25 1997)