Strontium and zinc co-substituted nanophase hydroxyapatite

Adrian Boyd, Naomi Lowry, Yisong Han, Brian Meenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


It is well documented that biological hydroxyapatite (HA) differs from pure and synthetically produced HA, and contains of a mixture of calcium phosphate (CaP) phases in addition to a range of impurity ions, such as strontium (Sr2+), zinc (Zn2+), magnesium (Mg2+), fluoride (F-) and carbonate(CO32-), but to name a few. Further to this, biological apatite is generally in the form of rod (or needle-like) crystals in the nanometre (nm) size range, typically 60 nm in length by 5–20 nm wide. In this study, a range of nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA), substituted nHA materials and co-substituted nHA (based on Sr2+ and Zn2+) were manufactured using an aqueous precipitation method. Sr2+ and Zn2+ were chosen due to the significant performance enhancements that these substitutions can deliver. The materials were then characterised using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques. The TEM results show that all of the samples produced were nano-sized, with Zn-substituted nHA being the smallest crystals around 27 nm long and 8 nm wide. The FTIR, XRD and XPS results all confirm that the materials had undergone substitution with either Sr2+ and Zn2+, for Ca2+ within the HA lattice (or both in the case of the co-substituted materials). The FTIR results confirmed that all of the samples were carbonated, with a significant loss of hydroxylation as a consequence of the incorporation of Sr2+ and Zn2+ into the HA lattice. None of the materials synthesised here in this study contained any other impurity CaP phases. Therefore this study has shown that substituted and co-substituted nanoscale apatites can be prepared, and that the degree of substitution (and the substituting ion) can have a profound effect of the attendant materials’ properties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCeramics International
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Oct 2017


  • Co-substitution
  • Strontium
  • Zinc
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
  • Nano-hydroxyapatite


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