Calcium phosphate cements have been in clinical use for the last 10 years. Their most salient features include good biocompatibility, excellent bioactivity, self-setting characteristics, low setting temperature, adequate stiffness, and easy shaping to accomodate any complicated geometry. They are commonly used in filling bone defects and trauma surgeries as mouldable paste-like bone substitute materials. Substitution of trace elements, such as Mg, Sr and Zn ions, into the structure of calcium phosphates is the subject of widespread investigation nowadays, because of their impending role in the biological process. Subtle differences in composition and structure of these materials may have a profound effect on their in vivo
behaviour. Therefore, the main goal of this paper is to provide a simple, but comprehensive overview of the present achievements relating to brushite-forming cements doped with Mg, Zn and Sr, and to identify new developments and trends. In particular, the influence of ionic substitution on the chemical, physical and biological properties of these materials is discussed.