Scientists investigate inorganic biomaterials with antimicrobial properties

May 15, 2018, Lobachevsky University

A team of scientists from the Lobachevsky University Department of Solid State Chemistry under Dr. Evgeny Bulanov has developed a new method for obtaining bismuth-containing apatite and has studied its crystal structure and thermodynamic properties with the purpose of modeling its behavior under service conditions.

Materials based on compounds with a of apatite have a wide range of applications, from fertilizers to ionic conductors. This is due to the fact that almost any element of the periodic system can be incorporated into the of such substances, which results in a change in the material's performance characteristics.

Hydroxyapatite with the formula Ca5(PO4)3OH is widely applied in the field of medicine as the basis for materials used to restore bone tissue. It is chemically and structurally similar to the bone's inorganic component.

The studies of this compound and its analogues have been conducted at the UNN Department of Solid State Chemistry for about 10 years. One of the latest achievements is the introduction of bismuth atoms into the of the compound. Bismuth and its exhibit antimicrobial activity, therefore, bismuth-containing apatite can be used to produce a material combining biocompatibility and antimicrobial properties.

To obtain the substance, a solid-phase synthesis scheme was proposed, which made it possible to substantially lower the temperature of the process as compared with the literature data. The refinement of the crystalline structure of the compound was carried out by the Rietveld method enabling the determination of the distribution of atoms along crystallographic positions. It is necessary to know this distribution for explaining subsequently the substance's properties.

Evgeny Bulanov, senior researcher at the UNN Department of Solid State Chemistry, emphasizes that in case of biomaterials it is important not only to find ways for obtaining a substance, but also to know how the material will behave under operating conditions.

"Thermodynamic modeling can give the answer to this question. The experimentally determined standard thermodynamic functions of bismuth-containing apatite will be used to analyze possible transformations of the substance already implanted into the human body. It is necessary for predicting possible negative consequences (destruction of the material caused by a change in its phase composition)," Evgeny Bulanov notes.

Lobachevsky University researchers have discovered a number of anomalous changes in the properties of the in the low-temperature region, which require further study: the formation of a superstructure in the region of 173 K, and an increase in the heat capacity at temperatures below 8 K.

Explore further: Nanostructures made of previously impossible material

More information: E.N. Bulanov et al, Bi-apatite: Synthesis, crystal structure and low-temperature heat capacity, The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.jct.2018.04.021

Related Stories

Nanostructures made of previously impossible material

March 9, 2018

Materials scientists often seek to change the physical properties of a material by adding a certain proportion of an additional element; however, it isn't always possible to incorporate the desired quantity into the crystal ...

Solid metal has 'structural memory' of its liquid state

March 13, 2017

New work from a team including Carnegie's Guoyin Shen and Yoshio Kono used high pressure and temperature to reveal a kind of "structural memory" in samples of the metal bismuth, a discovery with great electrical engineering ...

Melting solid below the freezing point

January 23, 2017

Phase transitions surround us—for instance, liquid water changes to ice when frozen and to steam when boiled. Now, researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered a new phenomenon of so-called metastability ...

Recommended for you

Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria

January 18, 2019

More than one in 10 people in the world lack basic drinking water access, and by 2025, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas, which is why access to clean water is one of the National Academy ...

Hand-knitted molecules

January 18, 2019

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips – in a sense as a "hand-knitted" ...

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

January 18, 2019

Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, ...

This computer program makes pharma patents airtight

January 17, 2019

Routes to making life-saving medications and other pharmaceutical compounds are among the most carefully protected trade secrets in global industry. Building on recent work programming computers to identify synthetic pathways ...

3-D culturing hepatocytes on a liver-on-a-chip device

January 17, 2019

Liver-on-a-chip cell culture devices are attractive biomimetic models in drug discovery, toxicology and tissue engineering research. To maintain specific liver cell functions on a chip in the lab, adequate cell types and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.