In vitro synthesis and characterization of amorphous calcium phosphates with various Ca/P atomic ratios
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Amorphous calcium phosphates (ACP) were synthesized utilizing poly(ethylene glycol) as stabilizing additive at low temperature. Effects of aging time, pH value, reactant and initial Ca/P atomic ratio on the phase and chemical composition of calcium phosphate precipitates were investigated by powder X-ray diffraction and induced coupled plasma atomic spectroscopy. It was found that ACP could be stabilized by poly(ethylene glycol) in the mother solution for more than 18 h at 5 °C, and Ca/P atomic ratios of ACP precipitates could be adjusted from 1.33 to 1.50 by controlling pH values and initial Ca/P atomic ratios. ACP precipitates were characterized by thermal gravity analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectrum. The results show that there is 4 wt% poly(ethylene glycol) in ACP powders without any contaminated ions, and the spherical particle size of ACP powders is 60∼70 nm in the diameter with uniform size distribution which endows it as a potential precursor to prepare crystalline calcium phosphate phases. ACP has potential to be used as biodegradable and/or bioresorbable biomaterials and tissue engineering scaffold.