The synthesis and characterization of nanophase hydroxyapatite using a novel dispersant-aided precipitation method.
The synthesis of nanophase hydroxyapatite (nHA) is of importance in the field of biomaterials and bone tissue engineering. The bioactive and osteoconductive properties of nHA are of much benefit to a wide range of biomedical applications such as producing bone tissue engineered constructs, coating medical implants, or as a carrier for plasmid DNA in gene delivery. This study aimed to develop a novel low-temperature dispersant-aided precipitation reaction to produce nHA particles (<100 >nm), which are regarded as being preferable to micron-sized agglomerates of nHA. The variables investigated and optimized include the reaction pH, the rate of reactant mixing, use of sonication, order of addition, and concentration of the primary reactants, in addition, the effect of using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) surfactant and Darvan 821A® dispersing agent during the reaction was also examined. It was found that by fine-tuning the synthesis parameters and incorporating the dispersing agent, monodisperse, phase-pure nano-sized particles under 100 nm were attained, suitable for clinical applications in bone regeneration.