Cells and Materials


A nano-hydroxyapatite/collagen composite was prepared by precipitation of hydroxyapatite from an aqueous solution onto collagen. Mouse peritoneal macrophages were used to investigate the in vitro biodegradation of the composite. The results showed the mechanism of phagocytosis and extracellular degradation process. The cells that belong to the mononuclear phagocyte system showed some morphological characteristics similar to those of osteoclasts and made pits on the composite surface. The local modification of the material surface by the cell was another phenomenon distinguishable from the degradation process. The degradation and modification made the material porous with a widely varying Ca/P ratio.