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Biologically inspired synthesis of bone-like composite: Self-assembled collagen fibers/hydroxyapatite nanocrystals



Replacement of bone tissue by graft materials and products of tissue engineering having composition, structure, and biological features that mimic natural tissue is a goal to be pursued. A biomimetic synthesis was performed to prepare new bone-like composites constituted of hydroxyapatite nanocrystals and self-assembled type I collagen fibers. We used a biological inspired approach that proved that the biological systems stored and processed information at the molecular level. Two different methodologies were used: dispersion of synthetic hydroxyapatite in telopeptides free collagen molecules solution and direct nucleation of hydroxyapatite into reconstituted collagen fibers during their assembling. The different preparation techniques were experimented then the composites thoroughly characterized and compared. Composite obtained by direct nucleation showed an intimated interaction of the inorganic and proteic components, which modified the apatitic phase and made its composition, morphology and structure similar to the mineral component of natural bone. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 67A: 618–625, 2003