We have synthesized a new family of materials we termed organoapatites which may be useful in the formulation of artificial bone. These materials are synthesized by nucleation and growth of apatite crystals in media containing poly(amino acids) or synthetic organic polyelectrolytes using strict atmospheric, temperature, and pH control. The macromolecules used to synthesize the organoapatites include poly(L‐lysine), poly(L‐glutamic acid), and poly(sodium acrylate). The products were characterized by x‐ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, surface area measurements, elemental analysis, and spectroscopic techniques. Organoapatites were found to contain large surface area morphologies with small crystallites which mature slowly based on analysis of Ca/P ratios. The organic macromolecules are thought to induce nucleation of crystals but also to quench their growth, thus becoming intimately dispersed in a mineral network. The organomineral particles harvested from the reaction medium contain polymernetted microcrystals, and for this reason the synthetic approach can be used to modulate crystal maturation and biological response. It is likely that the preparative approach mimics some aspects of natural bone matrix synthesis and could be specially useful in the preparation of mineral implants containing intimate dispersions of small amounts of biomolecules such as growth factors, special drugs, or bioadhesives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering