Synthesis of carbonated hydroxyapatite nanospheres through nanoemulsion
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This study investigated the nanoemulsion technique as a means to synthesize carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHAp) nanospheres which could be used to produce composite tissue engineering scaffolds. CHAp nanospheres were successfully synthesized by mixing an acetone solution of Ca(NO3)2 · 4H2O with an aqueous solution of (NH4)2HPO4 and NH4HCO3. Four reaction temperatures, namely, 4, 25, 37 and 55 °C, were investigated and no surfactant was added in all nanoemulsion processes. Wet slurries of CHAp from the nanoemulsions were freeze-dried to obtain dry powders. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results showed that the as-synthesized CHAp nanoparticles were mainly in an amorphous state. After calcination at 900 °C, the apatite became well crystallized. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed that the CHAp was B-type substitution. Both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the CHAp particles were spherical in shape and that their sizes were in the nanometer range. The successful synthesis of CHAp nanospheres is a critical step forward in our efforts to fabricate bone tissue engineering scaffolds using the selective laser sintering technology.