Skip to main content


Log in

Effect of carbonate and biological macromolecules on formation and properties of hydroxyapatite

  • Original Papers
  • Published:
Calcified Tissue Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) was transformed at 25° to hydroxyapatite (HA) in horse and bovine serum; solutions of serum-protein fractions in tris-HCl buffer (pH 7.4), and pH 7.4 buffers containing from 0.1 to 10 times physiological CO3 2− concentration. The ACP-to-HA transformation was slower in whole serum and serum fractions than in control buffer solution. The observed adsorption of serum proteins on ACP and HA probably inhibits both the dissolution of the ACP particles and the growth of HA crystals. After 72 h all transformations were complete as determined by X-ray diffraction. The HA crystal dimensions decreased with increasing CO3 2− but the shape, as shown by X-ray linewidths, was relatively constant up to about 4% CO3 2−. At 15% CO3 2− the crystals were more equiaxial and less needle-like in habit. The radial distribution function (RDF) of HA with 3.7% CO3 2− is less well resolved than the RDF of HA with ambient CO3 2− (1.1%). The peaks are less sharp and their amplitude falls more rapidly with increasing atomic separation than for low CO3 2−-HA. These effects show that CO3 2− decreases the regularity of the atomic arrangement when incorporated in HA. The rapid decrease, with increasing CO3 2− content, of the IR splitting of the P−O bending mode of CO3 2−-HA is attributed to reduced crystal size and possibly to a perturbation of the crystal field due to CO3 2−-induced lattice distortion. Finally, for bone mineral, it is probable that the poor resolution of the X-ray and IR patterns is due, in large part, to small crystal size and internal disorder caused by CO3 2−.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Bachra, B. N.: Precipitation of calcium carbonates and phosphates from metastable solutions. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.109, 251–255 (1959)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bernardi, G.: In: Methods in enzymology, vol. 27, Enzyme structure, part. D (Hirs, C. H. W., Timasheff, S. N., eds.), p. 471–479. New York: Academic Press 1973

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  3. Betts, F., Posner, A. S.: An X-ray radial distribution study of amorphous calcium phosphate. Mat. Res. Bull.9, 353–360 (1974)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Betts, F., Posner, A. S.: A structural model for amorphous calcium phosphate. Trans. Amer. Cryst. Ass.10, 73 (1974)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Blumenthal, N. C., Posner, A. S.: Effect of preparation conditions on the properties and transformation of amorphous calcium phosphate. Mat. Res. Bull.7, 1181–1190 (1972)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Blumenthal, N. C., Posner, A. S.: Hydroxyapatite: Mechanism of formation and properties. Calcif. Tiss. Res.13, 235–243 (1973)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Boskey, A. L., Posner, A. S.: Conversion of amorphous calcium phosphate to microcrystalline hydroxyapatite. A pH-dependent, solution-mediated solid-solid conversion. J. Phys. Chem.77, 2313–2317 (1973)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Conway, E. J.: Microdiffusion analysis and volumetric error. London: Lockwood & Son Ltd. 1957

    Google Scholar 

  9. Dallemagne, M. J., Richelle, L. J.: In: Biological mineralization (Zipkin, I., ed.), p. 23–42. New York: John Wiley and Sons 1973

    Google Scholar 

  10. Harper, R. A., Posner, A. S.: Measurement of non-crystalline calcium phosphate in bone mineral. Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. (N.Y.)122, 137–142 (1966)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Klug, H. P., Alexander, L. E.: X-ray diffraction procedures, p. 491–538, New York: Wiley and Sons 1954

    Google Scholar 

  12. LeGeros, R. Z., Trautz, O. R., LeGeros, J. P., Klein, E.: Carbonate substitution in the apatite structure. Bull. Soc. Chim. Fr. (no special) 2e trimestre, 1712–1718 (1968)

  13. Lundy, D. R., Eanes, E. D.: An X-ray line-broadening study of turkey leg tendon. Arch. oral Biol.18, 813–826 (1973)

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Meyer, J. L., Nancollas, G. H.: The influence of multidentate organic phosphonates on the crystal growth of hydroxyapatite. Calcif. Tiss. Res.13, 295–303 (1973)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Nicholas, D. M.: Crystallite size effects on the radial distribution analysis of carbon fibers. J. appl. Cryst.5, 262 (1972)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Posner, A. S., Blumenthal, N. C., Boskey, A. L., Betts, F.: A synthetic analog of bone mineral formation. J. dent. Res. (in press)

  17. Termine, J. D., Peckauskas, R. A., Posner, A. S.: Calcium phosphate formation invitro. II. Effects of environment on amorphous-crystalline transformation. Arch. Biochem. Biophys.140, 318–325 (1970)

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. White, A., Handler, P., Smith, E. L.: Principles of biochemistry, p. 709. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company 1968

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Blumenthal, N.C., Betts, F. & Posner, A.S. Effect of carbonate and biological macromolecules on formation and properties of hydroxyapatite. Calc. Tis Res. 18, 81–90 (1975).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words