Bone provides protection and support for the movements of our body through its excellent load-bearing properties. The mechanical performances benefit from the evolution-driven structural optimization of inferior components (being brittle mineral or soft proteins) at multiple length scales. Though the macrostructure differs depending on bone type, the nanostructure of natural bone universally comprises collagen fibrils possessing periodic gaps, within which elongated bone apatite nanoparticles are aligned and embedded. In this presentation, a novel synthetic approach, highly inspired by the architecture of natural bone, to design mechanically stable nanocomposites incorporating aligned apatite nanocrystals will be demonstrated. To mimic the nanostructure of natural bone, we first combine molecular self-assembly and intermolecular crosslinking to create resilient polymeric matrices with long-range periodicity; then we employ compartmentalized mineral growth via a transient amorphous phase for the biomimetic formation of bone-like apatite. The nano-domains and their alignment has been investigated using 3D small angle X-ray scattering (3D-SAXS) and the crystallization process has been studied using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Our observations provide insight into a crucial and as yet missing stage in bone mineralization, namely the origins of the nanostructured, platelet-like geometry of bone-hydroxyapatite which is vital for the healthy functioning of bone.
PJ, lecture hall, Fysik Origo, Fysik
18 May, 2018, 12:15
18 May, 2018, 12:45