Transformation of brushite to hydroxyapatite and effects of alginate additives
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Crystal Growth. 2016, . 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2016.11.019
Phase transformations are important processes during mineral formation in both in vivo and in vitro model systems and macromolecules are influential in regulating the mineralization processes. Calcium phosphate mineralized alginate hydrogels are potential candidates for hard tissue engineering applications and transformation of the resorbable calcium phosphate phases to apatitic bone mineral in vivo enhances the success of these composite materials. Here, the transformation of brushite to hydroxyapatite (HA) and the effects of alginate additives on this process are studied by the investigation of supersaturation profiles with HA-seeded and unseeded experiments. This experimental design allows for detailed kinetic interpretation of the transformation reactions and deduction of information on the nucleation stage of HA by evaluating the results of seeded and unseeded experiments together. In the experimental conditions of this work, transformation was controlled by HA growth until the point of near complete brushite dissolution where the growth and dissolution rates were balanced. The presence of alginate additives at low concentration were not highly influential on transformation rates during the growth dominated region but their retardant effect became more pronounced as the dissolution and growth rates reached an equilibrium where both reactions were effective on transformation kinetics. Decoupling of seeded and unseeded transformation experiments suggested that alginate additives retard HA nucleation and this was most evident in the presence of G-block oligomers.