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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 9 April 2010
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Dr Michael Mucalo is a senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Waikato. Over recent times, Michael has been conducting bioceramic research into bone substitute materials. One of the options looked at was a material known as hydroxyapatite, and in this video, Michael explains what hydroxyapatite is and how certain forms of it can be used as a bone substitute.

Point of interest
Find out about the internal structure of bone.

Transcript

DR MICHAEL MUCALO
This is a name of a family of calcium phosphate compounds, and why they are important is because, in the body, our bone has minerals in it, and the mineral constituent is known as hydroxyapatite.

Cow bone, for instance, if you heat this up to a very high temperature like 1,000 degrees, what you actually form from that natural bone is pure hydroxyapatite, and that is basically the mineral structure, the shell or the residue, what is left behind after you heat it. Every animal which has a hard bone sort of structure supporting it will have this hydroxyapatite as part of the bone.