) and zirconia-based glasses and ceramics are materials proposed for use in the dental and orthopedic fields. In this work, ZrO2
glass was modified by adding different amounts of bioactive and biocompatible hydroxyapatite (HAp). ZrO2
/HAp composites were synthesized via the sol-gel method and heated to different temperatures to induce modifications of their chemical structure, as ascertained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. The aim was to investigate the effect of both HAp content and heating on the biological performances of ZrO2
. The materials’ bioactivity was studied by soaking samples in a simulated body fluid (SBF). FTIR and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)) analyses carried out after exposure to SBF showed that all materials are bioactive, i.e., they are able to form a hydroxyapatite layer on their surface. Moreover, the samples were soaked in a solution containing bovine serum albumin (BSA). FTIR analysis proved that the synthesized materials are able to adsorb the blood protein, the first step of cell adhesion. WST-8 ([2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, monosodium salt]) assay showed that no cytotoxicity effects were induced by the materials’ extract. However, the results proved that bioactivity increases with both the HAp content and the temperature used for the thermal treatment, whereas biocompatibility increases with heating but is not affected by the HAp content.
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