Silicon plays an important role in bone mineralization and formation and is therefore incorporated into a wide variety of medical implants and bone grafts used today. The significance of silicon (Si) can be understood through an analysis of the mechanisms of bone bonding to calcium containing biomaterials and through comparisons of hydroxyapatite (HA) and silicon-substituted hydroxyapatite (Si-HA). The addition of Si to HA causes a decrease in grain size that subsequently affects surface topography, dissolution-reprecipitation rates and the bone apposition process. Through the use of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) studies, the interactions between bone and silicon hydroxyapatite (Si-HA) at interfaces are reviewed and related to their impact on bone apposition and ultimately the performance of medical implants.
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