The dissolution rates of ceramic tricalcium phosphate (TCP) and zinc-containing tricalcium phosphate (ZnTCP) ceramics at pH 5.5 decrease with increasing zinc content. The relative dissolution rates of ceramic ZnTCP with zinc contents of 0.5 and 1.0 mol% are more than three times higher than the relative resorbed volumes of these ZnTCP ceramics which were reported previously. The dissolution rates are likely controlled by only one mechanism, that is polynucleation, in the zinc content range from 0 to 1.0 mol%. Since the surface area of ceramic TCP or ZnTCP is much lower than that of powdered TCP or ZnTCP, the initial dissolution flux of ceramic TCP or ZnTCP remains unchanged for a longer period than that of powdered TCP. As a result, no change in dissolution kinetics is expected during one cycle of osteoclastic resorption. Since neither the dissolution rate nor the change in dissolution kinetics accounts for the previously reported drastic reduction in osteoclastic resorption associated with ZnTCP, it is concluded that the drastic reduction in resorption arises from the suppressive effects of ZnTCP on osteoclast formation or osteoclastic activity.
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