Hydroxyapatite (Partner Lead: FLUIDINOVA)

Nanohydroxyapatite particle size characterization using online
OptoFluidic force induction (OF2i) technology.

Hydroxyapatite (HAp) is one of the most attractive calcium phosphates and is widely used in clinical applications such as restorative dental and orthopedic implants due to its close resemblance to the natural bones and teeth, excellent bioaffinity and its enhancement in osseointegration.

FLUIDINOVA developed a proprietary technology that allows the continuous production of nanohydroxyapatite (nHAp) with high quality standards by wet chemical precipitation method. Nanohydroxyapatite has been extensively characterized in terms of its physicochemical properties and morphology based on offline analytical technologies characterization (e.g. SEM, TEM) that take, at least, 2 weeks to obtain results. During continuous nanohydroxyapatite production, changes on process parameters (e.g. reactants concentration, temperature, pH) can modify the material morphology and size, so real-time detection/characterization methods would enable to improve product quality and allow faster development of new products and processes.

Figure 1: Nanohydroxyapatite

Figure 2: TEM image of nHAp

Figure 3: FLUIDINOVA NETmix reactor

During NanoPAT project, real-time in situ particle size characterization technology will be used. The OptoFluidic force induction (OF2i) technology developed by Medical University of Graz (MUG) will enable a continuous, precise high-throughput multi-parameter measurement with single-particle accuracy in real time.

The nanohydroxyapatite is a milky-like solution (fig.1) with particle concentration of 15.5 % (w/w) in water. The nanohydroxyapatite particles are nanorods shape with mean particle size of 30-40nm length and 10-15nm width (fig.2). The OF2i monitoring technology will be adjusted in the industrial pilot line to enable the continuous online monitoring of the particles suspension during production process with NETmix reactor (fig.3).