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Comparative Study
, 45 (2), 95-103

Crystal Dissolution of Biological and Ceramic Apatites

Comparative Study

Crystal Dissolution of Biological and Ceramic Apatites

G Daculsi et al. Calcif Tissue Int.


High resolution transmission electron microscopy (Hr TEM) studies on biological and synthetic calcium phosphate have provided information on the dissolution process at the crystal level. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dissolution of ceramic hydroxyapatite (HA) after implantation using Hr TEM. Recovered HA ceramic implanted in bony and nonbony sites in animals and in periodontal pockets in humans were used for the study. For comparison, sections of human fluorotic enamel with caries and sections of shark enameloid previously exposed to 0.1 HCl were similarly investigated. Hr TEM studies demonstrated that in both the biological and ceramic apatites, the lattice and atomic defects were the starting points in the dissolution process. However, significant differences in the process of dissolution were observed: (1) biological apatite crystals showed preferential core dissolution whereas ceramic apatite crystals showed nonspecific dissolution at the cores and at the surfaces; (2) the dissolution of biological apatites appeared to consistently extend along the crystal's c-axis whereas dissolution of the ceramic HA did not appear to be correlated with the crystal's c-axis. The observed differences in crystal dissolution between biological and ceramic apatites may be attributed to the following: (1) the unique crystal/protein interaction present with biological apatites but absent in ceramic HA; (2) differences in defect distribution between biological and ceramic apatites which are due to the differences in the original of these defects; and (3) the longer morphological c-axis of biological apatites compared with that of ceramic apatites.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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