Ion exchanges in apatites for biomedical application
- Cite this article as:
- Cazalbou, S., Eichert, D., Ranz, X. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2005) 16: 405. doi:10.1007/s10856-005-6979-2
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The modification of the composition of apatite materials can be made by several processes corresponding to ion exchange reactions which can conveniently be adapted to current coatings and ceramics and are an alternative to setting up of new synthesis methods. In addition to high temperature thermal treatments, which can partly or almost totally replace the monovalent OH− anion of stoichiometric hydroxyapatite by any halogen ion or carbonate, aqueous processes corresponding to dissolution-reprecipitation reactions have also been proposed and used. However, the most interesting possibilities are provided by aqueous ion exchange reactions involving nanocrystalline apatites. These apatites are characterised by the existence on the crystal surface of a hydrated layer of loosely bound mineral ions which can be easily exchanged in solution. This layer offers a possibility to trap mineral ions and possibly active molecules which can modify the apatite properties. Such processes are involved in mineralised tissues and could be used in biomaterials for the release of active mineral species.