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An international network on new strategies for processing calcium phosphates (REFINED STEP)
Start date: Nov 1, 2013, End date: Oct 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The next generation calcium phosphates demand refined processing routes for capturing the full potential of this elite class of materials. Calcium phosphates are unique with their potential to accept replacement ions in the structure, be processed through intermediate phases, and modify their crystal structure. This project will a) investigate the formation of high temperature processing in a radio frequency inductively coupled plasma, and b) process calcium phosphates through metastable states to capture structural modifications for enhancing properties. Both apatites and tricalcium phosphate will be addressed as the main calcium phosphates. The processing and microstructure assessment will form an iterative process to understand an extended design potential for skeletal implants. The consortium collects expertise in plasma processing, mechatronics, characterization and modelling, and biological testing disciplines. This represents the full chain of events from the development of a biomaterial to the clinical application and therefore provides feedback within the system to optimize processing requirements, an approach that has not been used with first generation biomaterials. Exchanges are planned between Europe (Austria, France, Latvia, United Kingdom) and countries with EU agreements (Australia, Belarus, Canada, Russia).
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