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Physico-chemical properties of nanocrystalline apatites: Implications for biominerals and biomaterials

Abstract : Nanocrystalline apatites play an important role in biomineralisation and they are used as bioactive biominerals for orthopaedic applications. One of the most interesting characteristics of the nanocrystals, evidenced by spectroscopic methods, is the existence of a structured surface hydrated layer, well developed in freshly formed precipitates, which becomes progressively transformed into the more stable apatitic lattice upon ageing in aqueous media. The hydrated layer is very fragile and irreversibly altered upon drying. Several routes leading to different apatite compositions are found in biological systems. The loosely bound ions of the hydrated layer can be easily and reversibly substituted by other ions in fast aqueous ion exchange reactions. These ions can either be included in the growing stable apatite lattice during the ageing process or remain in the hydrated layer. The adsorption properties of nanocrystals appear to be strongly dependent on the composition of the hydrated layer and on ageing. The surface reactivity of the apatite nanocrystals can play a part in different biomaterials and could explain the setting reactions of biomimetic calcium phosphate cements and the possibility of obtaining adherent nanocrystalline coatings on different substrates.
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Christian Rey, Christèle Combes, Christophe Drouet, Hocine Sfihi, Allal Barroug. Physico-chemical properties of nanocrystalline apatites: Implications for biominerals and biomaterials. Materials Science and Engineering: C, Elsevier, 2007, vol. 27, pp. 198-205. ⟨10.1016/j.msec.2006.05.015⟩. ⟨hal-00808375⟩

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