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Controlling Biomimetic Self-Assembled Nanocomposite Formation

The ability to mimic the hierarchical order at multiple length scales in natural materials, such as bone, is crucial for a bottom-up approach to materials design. Being able to mimic the formation of self-assembled nanocomposites of calcium phosphate using block copolypeptides as templates has allowed us to grow hydroxyapatite nanocrystals in the organic matrix with sizes and morphologies similar to that seen in natural bone. The hydroxyapatite nanocrystal size in the synthetic nanocomposites was determined controlled through the use of citrate, similar to native bone.

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