Organic-inorganic interaction and the growth mechanism of hydroxyapatite crystals in gelatin matrices between 37 and 80 °C

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Abstract

The crystal development of hydroxyapatite[HAp] phase in gelatin[GEL] matrices was investigated in the temperature range 37 to 80 °C by using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy(SEM), thermoanalytical measurement(DT/TGA), Fourier-Transformed Infra-Red(FT-IR) spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy(TEM) with electron diffraction(ED). It was found that during the coprecipitation of apatite phase in GEL matrices and the next aging process the crystallites were formed and developed through the two reaction mechanisms of organic-inorganic interaction between apatite phase and GEL molecules, and thermodynamic reaction for the crystal growing. The analytical evidences showed that there was a definite competition between these two mechanisms with the reaction temperature. Below 50 °C the crystal development of HAp was greatly suppressed by the existence of the GEL molecules, indicating the heterogeneous nucleation by the supposed number of carboxyl groups in GEL. Above 50 °C the effective organic components as a template for the heterogeneous nucleation of apatite crystallites were greatly degraded and so more amount of inorganic ions could be favorably accredited on the preexisting crystallites in virtue of the limited nucleation chance, finally resulting in the crystal growth. At higher temperature pretty big HAp crystals were developed with the depletion of the organics to be bound with crystallites in the slurry solution. Presumably it is believed that the poisoning of the functional groups in GEL molecules was vigorously occurred in the phosphoric acid environment above ∼ 50 °C.