Solution ripening of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles: Effects on electrophoretic deposition

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Journal Article
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 1999, 45 (1), pp. 11 - 19
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Electrophoretic deposition is a low-cost, simple, and flexible coating method for producing hydroxyapatite (Hap) coatings on metal implants. However, densification requires heating the coated metal to high temperatures, which, for commercial HAp powders, generally means at least 1200°C. At such temperatures, the metal tends to react with the HAp coating, inducing decomposition, and the strength of titanium and stainless steel implants is severely degraded. With the use of raw uncalcined nanoparticulate HAp, densification can occur at 900°-1050°C; however, such coatings are prone to cracking due to the high drying shrinkage. This problem was solved by precipitating nanoparticulate HAp by the metathesis process [10Ca(NO3)2 + 6NH4H2PO4 + 8NH4OH] and optimizing the ~30 nm of nanoprecipitates by an Ostwald ripening approach, that is, by boiling and/or ambient aging in the mother liquor. While the as-precipitated nanoparticles produced severely cracked coatings, 2 h of boiling or 10 days of ambient aging ripened the 'gel-like' mass into unagglomerated nanoparticles, which produced crack-free coatings. Since boiling enhanced particle size but ambient aging did not, crack elimination probably was due to the transition from the highly agglomerated gel-like state to the dispersed nanoparticulate state rather than to particle growth. Furthermore, boiling only reduced the amount of cracking whereas aging completely eliminated cracking.
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