The influence of yttrium oxide on the bioactivity of glasses in the system SiO2-Na2O-P2O5-CaO-B2O3-K2O-MgO was studied in a simulated body fluid (SBF). Two series of glasses with different bioactivity were investigated. The reaction layers formed on the surface of the exposed glasses were evaluated by means of back scattered electron imaging of scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (BEI-SEM/EDXA).
The concentration of Y, Ca and P released from the glasses into SBF, during 21 days was determined using inductively coupled plasma-emission spectroscopy ICP-AES and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy ICP-MS.
Introducing yttrium in the selected bioactive glass tended to diminish the bioactivity of the glasses. The thickness of the calcium phosphate layer decreased with increasing yttrium oxide content. The same effect was also observed when yttrium oxide partially replaced only calcium, magnesium and phosphorous oxide in the precursor glass.
The data show that we can produce bioactive glasses with yttrium oxide as a component. By suitable tailoring of the rest of the glasses the yttrium effect on the glass behavior in SBF should be possible to control and thus produce yttrium containing glasses with desired bioactivity.