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Nat Mater. 2013 Dec;12(12):1144-53. doi: 10.1038/nmat3787. Epub 2013 Nov 10.

Water-mediated structuring of bone apatite.

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1] Laboratoire Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris, UMR 7574 CNRS, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Collège de France, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France [2].


It is well known that organic molecules from the vertebrate extracellular matrix of calcifying tissues are essential in structuring the apatite mineral. Here, we show that water also plays a structuring role. By using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, wide-angle X-ray scattering and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy to characterize the structure and organization of crystalline and biomimetic apatite nanoparticles as well as intact bone samples, we demonstrate that water orients apatite crystals through an amorphous calcium phosphate-like layer that coats the crystalline core of bone apatite. This disordered layer is reminiscent of those found around the crystalline core of calcified biominerals in various natural composite materials in vivo. This work provides an extended local model of bone biomineralization.

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