The Contribution of Natural Hydroxyapatite to the Development of Bone Substitutes


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Several hydroxyapatite (HAp) synthesis routes, such as solid state reactions, hydrothermal methods, wet procedures have been widely investigated. At the same time, in the last years many alternative methods to produce HAp, exploiting fish, bovine or pig bones, have been developed; among them the most used are thermal processes as well as subcritical water or alkaline hydrothermal routes. This paper deals with a natural HAp nanopowder extracted from pig bones by a treatment with hot NaOH solution. It was demonstrated that the decomposition phenomena were avoided when the extracted HAp powder was calcined in CO2 atmosphere or by inducing the formation of CaO at 700 °C and then eliminating it through a washing procedure. The washed HAp was then exploited for producing macroporous components having controlled porosity features in terms of pore shape, size and volume percentage. For this aim, a combination of gelcasting and sacrificial template methods was applied as forming procedure, using agar as natural gelling agent and polyethylene (PE) spheres as pore former.



Edited by:

Alessandra Bianco, Ilaria Cacciotti and Ilaria Cappelloni




M. Lombardi et al., "The Contribution of Natural Hydroxyapatite to the Development of Bone Substitutes", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 541, pp. 3-14, 2013

Online since:

February 2013




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