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. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Wang, Y., Von Euw, S., Fernandes, F. M., Cassaignon, S., Selmane, M., Laurent, G., … Nassif, N. (2013). Water-mediated structuring of bone apatite. Nature Materials, 12(12), 1144–1153. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3787