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Acta Biomater. 2009 Oct;5(8):3067-75. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2009.04.030. Epub 2009 May 4.

Ab initio elastic properties and tensile strength of crystalline hydroxyapatite.

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Department of Physics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.


We report elastic constant calculation and a "theoretical" tensile experiment on stoichiometric hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystal using an ab initio technique. These results compare favorably with a variety of measured data. Theoretical tensile experiments are performed on the orthorhombic cell of HAP for both uniaxial and biaxial loading. The results show considerable anisotropy in the stress-strain behavior. It is shown that the failure behavior of the perfect HAP crystal is brittle for tension along the z-axis with a maximum stress of 9.6 GPa at 10% strain. Biaxial failure envelopes from six "theoretical" loading tests show a highly anisotropic pattern. Structural analysis of the crystal under various stages of tensile strain reveals that the deformation behavior manifests itself mainly in the rotation of the PO(4) tetrahedron with concomitant movements of both the columnar and axial Ca ions. These results are discussed in the context of mechanical properties of bioceramic composites relevant to mineralized tissues.

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