Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Ab Initio Study of Calcium Phosphate Biomaterials

Prof. Malcolm Stott
Department of Physics, Queen's University

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
3:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

The hard mineral component of animal bone is a calcium phosphate similar in composition to the naturally occurring hydroxyapatite (HA), but it is calcium deficient and contains a variety of impurities, principally about 5 wt % carbonate. Si is another trace element in bone which is known to be crucial for skeleton development. A number of synthetic bone replacement materials based on calcium phosphates have been developed to repair bone damage and coat joint replacements. The ideal is material that takes part fully in the body's natural bone remodelling process and is eventually replaced by natural bone. The most promising are Si-doped HA or tricalcium phosphates. Ab initio methods have been used to investigate on an atomic scale the basic calcium phosphate materials, the nature of the chemical complexes that incorporate the Si or carbonate dopants and the surfaces of these materials where the biological processes must take place. I will briefly review calcium phosphates and their biological significance and then describe the modelling that has proved to be a useful complement to experiment.