The process of collagen biomineralization observed by AFM in a model dual membrane diffusion system.
ABSTRACT Investigation and simulation of naturally occurring mineralization can offer some new ideas in the design and fabrication of new functional materials for bone analogues. In this paper, a model dual membrane diffusion system (DMDS) was used to study the mineralization behaviour of collagen. The process of mineralization was observed by atomic force microscope (AFM). The results showed that the surface roughness and hardness of mineralized collagen fibers increased with time during the process of mineralization. The adhesion force of mineralized collagen fibers decreased with mineralization time. The micromechanical properties and microstructure changes of mineralized collagen fibers suggested that the mineralization was a step-by-step assembling process.