Forsterite (Mg2SiO4) because of its exceptionally high fracture toughness which is close to that of cortical bones has been nominated as a possible successor to calcium phosphate bioceramics. Recent in vitro studies also suggest that forsterite possesses good bioactivity and promotes osteoblast proliferation as well as adhesion. However studies on preparation and sinterability of nanocrystalline forsterite remain scarce. In this work, we use a solid-state reaction with magnesium oxide (MgO) and talc (Mg3Si4(OH)2) as the starting precursors to synthesize forsterite. A systematic investigation was carried out to elucidate the effect of preparatory procedures including heat treatment, mixing methods and sintering temperature on development of microstructures as well as the mechanical properties of the sintered forsterite body.
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