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Calcif Tissue Int. 1990 Jun;46(6):384-94.

Resolution-enhanced Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study of the environment of phosphate ions in the early deposits of a solid phase of calcium-phosphate in bone and enamel, and their evolution with age. I: Investigations in the upsilon 4 PO4 domain.

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Laboratory for the Study of Skeletal Disorders and Rehabilitation, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


In order to investigate the possible existence in biological and poorly crystalline synthetic apatites of local atomic organizations different from that of apatite, resolution-enhanced, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies were carried out on chicken bone, pig enamel, and poorly crystalline synthetic apatites containing carbonate and HPO4(2-) groups. The spectra obtained were compared to those of synthetic well crystallized apatites (stoichiometric hydroxyapatite, HPO4(2-)-containing apatite, type B carbonate apatite) and nonapatitic calcium phosphates which have been suggested as precursors of the apatitic phase [octacalcium phosphate (OCP), brushite, and beta tricalcium phosphate and whitlockite]. The spectra of bone and enamel, as well as poorly crystalline, synthetic apatite in the upsilon 4 PO4 domain, exhibit, in addition to the three apatitic bands, three absorption bands that were shown to be independent of the organic matrix. Two low-wave number bands at 520-530 and 540-550 cm-1 are assigned to HPO4(2-). Reference to known calcium phosphates shows that bands in this domain also exist in HPO4(2-)-containing apatite, brushite, and OCP. However, the lack of specific absorption bands prevents a clear identification of these HPO4(2-) environments. The third absorption band (610-615 cm-1) is not related to HPO4(2-) or OH- ions. It appears to be due to a labile PO4(3-) environment which could not be identified with any phosphate environment existing in our reference samples, and thus seems specific of poorly crystalline apatites. Correlation of the variations in band intensities show that 610-615 cm-1 band is related to an absorption band at 560 cm-1 superimposed on an apatite band. All the nonapatitic phosphate environments were shown to decrease during aging of enamel, bone, and synthetic apatites. Moreover, EDTA etching show that the labile PO4(3-) environment exhibited a heterogeneous distribution in the insoluble precipitate.

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