Synthesis, characterization and modelling of zinc and silicate co-substituted hydroxyapatite.
Experimental chemistry and atomic modelling studies were performed here to investigate a novel ionic co-substitution in hydroxyapatite (HA). Zinc, silicate co-substituted HA (ZnSiHA) remained phase pure after heating to 1100 °C with Zn and Si amounts of 0.6 wt% and 1.2 wt%, respectively. Unique lattice expansions in ZnSiHA, silicate Fourier transform infrared peaks and changes to the hydroxyl IR stretching region suggested Zn and silicate co-substitution in ZnSiHA. Zn and silicate insertion into HA was modelled using density functional theory (DFT). Different scenarios were considered where Zn substituted for different calcium sites or at a 2b site along the c-axis, which was suspected in singly substituted ZnHA. The most energetically favourable site in ZnSiHA was Zn positioned at a previously unreported interstitial site just off the c-axis near a silicate tetrahedron sitting on a phosphate site. A combination of experimental chemistry and DFT modelling provided insight into these complex co-substituted calcium phosphates that could find biomedical application as a synthetic bone mineral substitute.