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Highlighting the role of citrate on the crystallization mechanism of nanocrystalline bio-apatites

Jaime Gómez-Morales 1José Manuel Delgado López 1Francisco Javier Martínez Casado 1Gloria Belén Ramírez-Rodríguez 1Michele Iafisco 2Anna Tampieri 2Maria Prat 3Antonella Guagliardi 4

1. Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (LEC-IACT), Avda. Las Palmeras, nº 4. Armilla, Granada 18100, Spain
2. CNR-ISTEC, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, Via Granarolo 64, Faenza 48018, Italy
3. Università del Piemonte Orientale. Dip di Scienze della Salute, Via Solaroli 17, Novara 28100, Italy
4. CNR, Istituto di Cristallografia, via Lucini 3, Como 22100, Italy


Nanocrystalline carbonate apatites constitute the main inorganic part of bone tissue, and a growing focus is devoted to prepare synthetic analogs, so-called “biomimetic”, able to precisely mimic the morphological and physico-chemical features of bone apatite for new applications in nanomedicine [1,2]. The organic fraction is basically composed of type-I collagen, non-collagenous proteins (NCPs) and small molecules such as citrate, which represents around 5.5 wt% of the total organic matrix and has been found strongly bound to the nanocrystals [3]. Recent advances in the control of crystal growth of nanocrystalline apatites are related to the use of this additive [4]. The use of citrate in the production of synthetic nanoapatites will improve their biomimetism and, in addition, will increase the knowledge of its role in bone mineralization, which has been traditionally neglected. In this work we report recent advances of our laboratory in the preparation of nanocrystalline citrate functionalized apatite nanoparticles by decomplexing of metastable calcium/metal/citrate/carbonate/phosphate solutions including new insights on their formation mechanisms, and its relevance in apatite formation during bone mineralization. This method allowed us to tailor the carbonate and metal content, particle size and stability of the colloidal dispersions. In addition, the potential use of these citrate-functionalized nanoparticles as nanocarriers for pH-responsive drug delivery (doxorubicin) is under study.

Acknowledgements. Financial support from Spanish MINECO (projects MAT2011-28543 and Consolider-Ingenio 2010, Factoría de Cristalización) and CEI-BioTic (UGR) is greatly acknowledged.


 [1] J. Gómez-Morales, M. Iafisco, J. M. Delgado-López, S. Sarda, C. Drouet, Prog. Cryst Growth Char. Mater. 59 (2013) 1–46. [2] M. Iafisco, J.M. Delgado-López, E. Varoni, A. Tampieri, L. Rimondini, J. Gomez-Morales, M. Prat, Small (2013). In press. doi: 10.1002/smll.201202843.[3] Hu YY, Rawal A, Schmidt-Rohr K. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010; 107:22425–9. [4] J.M. Delgado-López, M. Iafisco, I. Rodríguez Ruiz, A. Tampieri, M. Prat, J. Gómez-Morales. Acta Biomaterialia. 8 (2012) 3491–3499


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Related papers

Presentation: Oral at 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy - ICCGE-17, General Session 3, by Jaime Gómez-Morales
See On-line Journal of 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy - ICCGE-17

Submitted: 2013-04-15 10:23
Revised:   2013-04-15 11:07