From biomimetic apatites to biologically inspired composites

A. Tampieri, G. Celotti, E. Landi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Hydroxyapatite is an elective material for bone substitution. In this outline of our recent activity the crucial role of nanostructured ceramics in the design and preparation of ceramic scaffolds will be described, focussing on our more recent interest in biomimetic apatites, in particular apatites containing HPO4 2- CO3 2- and Mg 2+ which are similar to the mineral component of bone. The paper describes such nanostructured products and, in particular, innovative synthetic techniques capable of yielding powders with higher reactivity and bioactivity. However, so far the characteristics of artificial bone tissues have been shown to be very different from those of natural bone, mainly because of the absence of the peculiar self-organizing interaction between apatites and the protein component. This causes modification of the structure of apatites and of the features of the overall composite forming human bone tissue. Therefore, attempts to mimic the features and structure of natural bone tissue, leading toward so-called bio-inspired materials, will be speculated upon. New techniques used to reproduce a composite in which a nanosize blade-like crystal of hydroxyapatite (HA) grows in contact with self-assembling fibres of natural polymer will be presented. In this specific case, the amazing ability of biological systems to store and process information at the molecular level, nucleating nanosize apatites (bio-inspired material), is exploited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-576
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Biohybrid composite
  • Biologically inspired synthesis
  • Biomimetic apatites
  • Bone substitute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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