On the Collagen Mineralization. A Review
Collagen mineralization (CM) is a challenging process that has received a lot of attention in the past years. Among the reasons for this interest, the key role is the importance of collagen and hydroxyapatite in natural bone, as major constituents. Different protocols of mineralization have been developed, specially using simulated body fluid (SBF) and many methods have been used to characterize the systems obtained, starting with methods of determining the mineral content (XRD, FTIR, Raman, High-Resolution Spectral Ultrasound Imaging), continuing with imaging methods (AFM, TEM, SEM, Fluorescence Microscopy), thermal analysis (DSC and TGA), evaluation of the mechanical and biological properties, including statistical methods and molecular modeling. In spite of the great number of studies regarding collagen mineralization, its mechanism, both in vivo and in vitro, is not completely understood. Some of the methods used in vitro and investigation methods are reviewed here.