Preforms of beta tricalcium phosphate (beta-TCP) ceramics were produced by using a modified slip casting technique. The slip was prepared by suspending custom-made TCP powder and PMMA beads in an aqueous medium stabilized with an acrylic deflocculant. Porous TCP ceramics were obtained by sintering the polymer-free preforms for 2 h at 1000 degreesC. The XRD pattern for the TCP ceramic indicated that the product was essentially pure beta-TCP. SEM examination of pore size and pore size distribution revealed that the ceramic was appropriate for repair of cortical defects. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd and Techna S.r.l. All rights reserved.