The study was carried out to evaluate macroscopically the ability of coral to repair a large size bone defect. A total 12 adult, male sheep were used in the study. The large bone defect (2.5cm x 0.5cm x 0.5cm) was created surgically on the left proximal femur and replaced by a block of coral (Porites sp.). Radiographs were obtained immediately after surgery and at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks post-implantation. Ultrasonographic examinations were carried out every 2 weeks after implantation up to 12 weeks using ultrasound machine (TOSHIBA Capasee II) connected with 7MHz frequency transducer. The sheep were euthanased at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks post-implantation and the bone examined grossly. Both ultrasonographs and radiographs taken at 8 and 12 weeks showed that the implants had been resorbed and left the space that much reduced in size. There was no sign of implant rejection observed in all animals. The results showed that processed coral has potential to become bone substitute for reconstructive bone surgery.
Hydroxyapatite, (HA; Ca1O(PO4)6(OH)2) has been successfully applied in medical and dental applications for several years due to its excellent biocompatibility. The usage of HA in Malaysia, however, is limited due to the lack of availability. Therefore the aim of this work is to produce HA materials from both pure chemicals and from Malaysian natural limestone precursors, and to compare their bulk properties. However, parts of Malaysian natural limestone deposits actually consist of a combination of Ca(OH)2 and CaCO3. In order to utilise the limestone to produce HA material, the combination of these commercially pure chemicals as HA precursors should still work. In order to test this hypothesis, two HAs were produced by wet synthesis technique utilising (a) combination of Ca(OH)2 + CaCO3 from pure commercial chemicals [WCC] and (b) a local natural limestone [WL] precursors. The HAs produced; WCC and WL, were compacted into discs and sintered at 1250 degrees C. The characterisations and evaluations conducted were XRD, SEM-EDX, FTIR and shrinkage factor. The results indicate that WL gives slightly better bulk properties compared to WCC.
The impact of ionic strength (from 0.003 to 500mM) and salt type (NaCl vs MgCl2) on transport and retention of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) in saturated limestone porous media was systematically studied. Vertical columns were packed with limestone grains. The NPs were introduced as a pulse suspended in aqueous solutions and breakthrough curves in the column outlet were generated using an ultraviolent-visible spectrometry. Presence of NaCl and MgCl2 in the suspensions were found to have a significant influence on the electrokinetic properties of the NP aggregates and limestone grains. In NaCl and MgCl2 solutions, the deposition rates of the TiO2-NP aggregates were enhanced with the increase in ionic strength, a trend consistent with traditional Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory. Furthermore, the NP aggregates retention increased in the porous media with ionic strength. The presence of salts also caused a considerable delay in the NPs breakthrough time. MgCl2 as compared to NaCl was found to be more effective agent for the deposition and retention of TiO2-NPs. The experimental results followed closely the general trends predicted by the filtration and DLVO calculations. Overall, it was found that TiO2-NP mobility in the limestone porous media depends on ionic strength and salt type.