Formation of Bone-like Nanocrystalline Apatite Using Self-Assembled Liquid Crystals
Journal article, 2012
A two-step process using liquid crystalline phases combined with controlled postcrystallization for the preparation of bone-like apatite has been developed. First, amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) spherules with a diameter of 10.8 +/- 1.4 nm and specific surface area (SSA) in the range of 150-170 m(2)/g were synthesized within a reverse hexagonal liquid crystalline (LC) phase. Second, the ACP spherules were dispersed and aged in Milli-Qwater, where they crystallized into poorly crystalline apatite (PCA). The addition of heparin during aging was explored, which was shown to retard the ACP - PCA conversion. The particle formation within the LC phase was monitored using synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering, and the formed materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction, conventional and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption, thermogravimetry with infrared-coupled analysis, and Raman spectroscopy. The PCA formed using the LC aging route presented bone-resembling features, such as,Ca2+ and OH- deficiency, CO32- substitution, poor crystallinity; and ultrahigh SSA of 356 m(2)/g. The resulting particles were compared to hydroxyapatite synthesized via a conventional water-based precipitation method. The LC-aging route exhibited excellent controllability over the CaP crystallization, which enabled facile tailoring of the resulting material properties for different types of application.
liquid crystalline phase