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Materials Research

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RODRIGUES, Leonardo Ribeiro; D` AVILA, Marcos Akira; MONTEIRO, Fernando Jorge Mendes  and  ZAVAGLIA, Cecília Amélia de Carvalho. Synthesis and characterization of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite gel and its application as scaffold aggregation. Mat. Res. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.6, pp.974-980.  Epub Oct 02, 2012. ISSN 1516-1439.

The sol-gel process is a technique used to synthesize materials from colloidal suspensions and, therefore, is suitable for preparing materials in the nanoscale. In this work hydroxyapatite was used due to its known properties in tissue engineering. Hydroxyapatite Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 is a bioactive ceramic which is found in the mineral phase of bone tissue and is known for its great potential in tissue engineering applications. For this reason, this material can be applied as particle aggregates on ceramic slurry, coating or film on materials with a poorer biological response than hydroxyapatite. In this work, hydroxyapatite gel was obtained by the sol-gel process and applied as nanoparticle aggregation in the mixture of hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate to form a ceramic slurry. This process is the polymer foam replication technique used to produce scaffolds, which are used in tissue engineering. For HA gel characterization it was used enviromental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The crystallite size was calculated from XRD data using the Scherrer equation. The nanoparticles size before firing was approximately 5nm. The crystallite size calculated after calcination was approximately 63 nm. The EELS results showed that calcium phosphate was obtained before firing. After HA gel calcination at 500 ºC the XRD results showed hydroxyapatite with a small content of beta-TCP. The scaffolds obtained by polymer foam replication technique showed a morphology with adequate porosity for tissue engineering.

Keywords : nanoparticles; thin film; hydroxyapatite; scaffolds.

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