The controlled integration of organic and inorganic components confers natural bone with superior mechanical properties. Bone biogenesis is thought to occur by templated mineralization of hard apatite crystals by an elastic protein scaffold, a process we sought to emulate with synthetic biomimetic hydrogel polymers. Cross-linked polymethacrylamide and polymethacrylate hydrogels were functionalized with mineral-binding ligands and used to template the formation of hydroxyapatite. Strong adhesion between the organic and inorganic materials was achieved for hydrogels functionalized with either carboxylate or hydroxy ligands. The mineral-nucleating potential of hydroxyl groups identified here broadens the design parameters for synthetic bonelike composites and suggests a potential role for hydroxylated collagen proteins in bone mineralization.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jie_song/18/