Hydroxyapatite synthesis from biogenic calcite single crystals into phosphate solutions at ambient conditions

Francesca Marchegiani, Eleonora Cibej, Patrizia Vergni, Giovanna Tosi, Simona Fermani, Giuseppe Falini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydroxyapatite is one of the most important bone substitute biomaterials. Here, it has been successfully overgrown on biogenic seed crystals at ambient conditions. Single crystals of calcite from Atrina rigida, Paracentrotus lividus and Heterocentrotus mammillatus have been soaked in phosphate solution with different concentrations and pHs for 2 months. X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy have been used to characterize soaking precipitates. The results show that the conversion of calcite to hydroxyapatite occurs to an extent which depends on composition and morphology of seed crystals, and starting concentration and pH of phosphate solutions. In the same experimental conditions, synthetic calcite single crystals did not convert to hydroxyapatite. The morphological observations suggest for hydroxyapatite formation, a mechanism that involves a superficial dissolution of calcite and a subsequently overgrowth of hydroxyapatite. Moreover, the final architectural assembly of the hydroxyapatite crystals resembles the shape of the starting biogenic seed crystals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4219-4225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2009


  • A1. Biocrystallization
  • A1. Nanostructure
  • A2. Seed crystals
  • B1. Calcium compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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