There are several synthesis techniques to obtain hydroxyapatite (HAp). Some use surfactant agents, amino acids or halogen salts to control structural nucleation and crystal growth. In others, the use of hydrothermal process to carry out the reaction is effective for HAp synthesis. Microwave-assisted hydrothermal method (MAHM) has been successfully applied in the synthesis of HAp nanostructures, which present well-defined morphologies, high crystallinity and high purity. This is important because nano-HAp is attracting interest as a biomaterial for use in prosthetic applications due to its similarity in size, crystallinity and chemical composition with human hard tissue. In this chapter, developments in obtaining HAp nanofibers, with a crystal growth with preferential orientation, as well as morphology control achieved by using the MAHM is discussed. Also, the synthesized fibers were used to cast ceramics with controlled and interconnected porosity through the modified gelcasting process. Then, these HAp ceramics were impregnated with a water solution of gelatin in order to obtain an organic-inorganic composite material, similar to natural bone tissue. The maximum compressive strengths were determined and the composite materials showed mechanical properties that make them suitable to be used as bone tissue implants.
Part of the book: Hydroxyapatite