Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Barbara Pföss

article posted 04 March 2016

Barbara Pföss studied Material and Metallurgical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. Since 2014 she is a PhD student in the field of bioactive glasses at the Institute of Mineral Engineering at RWTH Aachen University with Professor R. Conradt as her supervisor. Results of ongoing work were presented by Barbara Pföss on a number of international conferences on glass science, material science and health care, as oral and poster presentations. This includes contributions to the Euro BioMAT 2015 in Weimar, Germany, GOMD-DGG Joint Annual Meeting 2015 in Miami, USA and ICG Annual Meeting 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wetting and microscale form filling behaviour of bioactive glass melts

Barbara Pföss* & Reinhard Conradt
Institute of Mineral Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

Bioactive glasses have the exceptional ability to form a hydroxycarbonate apatite layer as a corrosion product when dissolving in body medium. The nature of such materials is favourable for cell adhesion and can even benefit differentiation of stem cells to osteoblasts.

The wetting and form filling behaviour of bioactive glass melts were investigated regarding a casting process. Casting is applied to design a microgroove topography on bioactive glass samples, which are intended to provide modified surfaces for cell culture and bioactivity studies.

Entire form filling and quick demolding without remains are the main demands for a successful manufacturing. Therefore, process parameters such as substrate material, atmosphere, temperature, and topography of the substrate were varied in a series of experiments.

Standard bioactive glass compositions were melted from pure substances. Further, powder pressed samples were prepared from defined grain fractions of the milled glass frits and a hot stage microscope and thermo optic device on a larger scale were available for the analysis of wetting during heating. However, the high crystallization tendency of the glasses was found to be a serious obstacle for the conduction of such experiments as very high heating rates are required to maintain in the glassy state.