Aqueous Microgels for the Growth of Hydroxyapatite Nanocrystals

In present article, we demonstrate that aqueous microgels can be used as containers for the in-situ synthesis of hydroxyapatite. The hydroxyapatite nanocrystals (HAp NCs) become integrated into microgels forming hybrid colloids. The HAp NCs loaded in the microgel can be varied over a broad range. The HAp NCs are localized within the microgel corona. The deposition of the inorganic nanocrystals decreases the colloidal stability of the microgels and leads to particle aggregation at high HAp NCs loading. Because of the strong interactions between HAp NCs and polymer chains, the swelling degree of microgels decreases, and temperature-sensitive properties disappear at high loading of the inorganic component. We demonstrate that hybrid colloids can be used as building blocks for the preparation of nanostructured films on solid substrates.