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Iranian researchers opened doors to novel applications of hydroxyapatite nanocrystals in various fields like medical, chemical, environmental and tissue engineering by controlling the morphology of the compound.
Thermodynamically speaking, hydroxyapatite is the most stable calcium-phosphate phase under human body conditions. Crystalline structure of this compound is identically same as that of the organic phase forming human bones and teeth.
"In this research, the non-ionic surface active agent of polyethylene glycol was used to encourage patterning in cetyltrimethylammonium bromide and producing branched patterns. Also, optimal conditions for synthesis of dandelion-like hydroxyapatite nanocrystals were determined," Mehrnaz Salarian, the researcher in chief at Amir Kabir University of Technology explained to the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.
"First, aqueous solution of phosphate salt containing cetyltrimethylammonium bromide was prepared and its pH value was adjusted by addition of pure acetic acid. Then, adequate amount of polyethylene glycol was added to aqueous solution of calcium slat. After applying NH3 solution, the latter solution was placed in an autoclave. After hydrothermal treatments, the resulted suspension was deprecipitated through centrifugation. The ultimate precipitate was washed and freeze-dried," she added.
Noting that dandelion-like hydroxyapatite nanocrystals enjoy excellent mechanical properties that make them suitable for production of composites and in tissue engineering of bones, Salarian reiterated that due to their higher specific surface area and unique surface properties, dandelion-like hydroxyapatite nanocrystals are expected to be used increasingly in medical, chemical and environmental engineering.
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