Hydroxyapatite (HA) is the main mineral constituent of human bones. HA nanocrystals can
be synthesized using a variety of wet solution methods including chemical precipitation, hydrothermal,
sol-gel, micro- and nano-emulsion. HA nanocrystals synthesized from the chemical precipitation
process generally exhibit plate-like morphology. They tend to self-organize into an ordered structure in
the presence of biopolymers. The self-assembled HA-polymer nanocomposites simulate the
hierarchical structure of human bone at a fundamental level. Such biomimetic nanocomposites favor
osteoblast adhesion and proliferation, thereby stimulating new bone growth. Proper understanding of
the biomineralization of self-assembled structures is needed for designing high performance polymer
nanocomposites in bone tissue engineering.
Bone, hydroxyapatite, nanocrystal, polymer, precipitation, self-assembly, biocompatibility,
biomimetic structure, scaffold, electrospinning
Department of Physics & Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong.