The inorganic component of bone is carbonate apatite, in which part of the phosphate group of hydroxyapatite is replaced with a carbonate group. Carbonate apatite powder, however, leads to inflammation after transplantation. A consortium around Kunio ISHIKAWA, Kyushu University, and GC Corporation found a method to prepare crystalline carbonate apatite from a thermodynamically stable phase (low solubility) in a mixture of calcium carbonate and phosphate where dissolution and precipitation reactions occur consecutively leading to crystalline carbonate apatite granules. Since carbonate apatite granules have the same composition as inorganic components of bone, they can replace bone in vivo. GC Corporation obtained approval of a carbonate apatite granule product as artificial bone that can be used for dental implants in Japan.

JST news release, February 15, 2019