Low temperature aqueous precipitation of needle-like nanophase hydroxyapatite

  • Sophie C. Cox
  • Parastoo Jamshidi
  • Liam M. Grover
  • Kajal K. Mallick


The use of tissue engineered biodegradable porous scaffolds has become an important focus of the biomedical research field. The precursor materials used to form these structures play a vital role in their overall performance thus making the study and synthesis of these selected materials imperative. The authors present a comparison and characterisation of hydroxyapatite (HA), a popular calcium phosphate (CaP) biomaterial, synthesised by an aqueous precipitation (AP) method. The influence of various reaction conditions on the phase, crystallinity, particle size as well as morphology, molecular structure, potential in-vivo bioactivity and cell viability were assessed by XRD, SEM and TEM, FTIR, a simulated body fluid (SBF) test and a live/dead assay using MC3T3 osteoblast precursor cells, respectively. Naturally carbonated nanoparticles of HA with typically needle-like morphology were synthesised by the reported AP method. Initial pH was found to influence the crystallisation process and determine the CaP phase formed as well as the resultant particle and crystallite sizes. A marked change in particle morphology was also observed above pH 9. The use of toluene as a replacement solvent for water up to 60 % was found to reduce the crystallinity of as-synthesised HA. This has marked influence on the effect of ethanolamine (5 wt%), which was found to improve HA crystallinity. SEM and EDS were used to confirm the growth of carbonated apatite on the surface of HA pellets immersed in SBF for up to 28 days. Cell culture results revealed viable cells on all samples where pH was controlled and maintained at 10–11 during precipitation, including those that used ethanolamine and toluene in preparation. When the initial alkali pH was not maintained non-viable cells were observed on HA substrates.


Ethanolamine Simulated Body Fluid DCPD DCPA CaPs 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie C. Cox
    • 1
  • Parastoo Jamshidi
    • 2
  • Liam M. Grover
    • 2
  • Kajal K. Mallick
    • 1
  1. 1.WMG, University of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.School of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of BirminghamCoventryUK

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