Hydroxyapatite (HAp) exhibits excellent biocompatibility with soft tissues such as skin, muscle and gums, making it an ideal candidate for orthopedic and dental implants or components of implants. Synthetic HAp has been widely used in repair of hard tissues, and common uses include bone repair, bone augmentation, as well as coating of implants or acting as fillers in bone or teeth. However, the low mechanical strength of normal HAp ceramics generally restricts its use to low load-bearing applications. Recent advancements in nanoscience and nanotechnology have reignited investigation of nanoscale HAp formation in order to clearly define the small-scale properties of HAp. It has been suggested that nano-HAp may be an ideal biomaterial due to its good biocompatibility and bone integration ability. HAp biomedical material development has benefited significantly from advancements in nanotechnology. This feature article looks afresh at nano-HAp particles, highlighting the importance of size, crystal morphology control, and composites with other inorganic particles for biomedical material development.
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