Three structural roles for water in bone observed by solid-state NMR

Erin E. Wilson, Ayorinde Awonusi, Michael D. Morris, David H. Kohn, Mary M.J. Tecklenburg, Larry W. Beck

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223 Scopus citations


Hydrogen-bearing species in the bone mineral environment were investigated using solid-state NMR spectroscopy of powdered bone, deproteinated bone, and B-type carbonated apatite. Using magic-angle spinning and cross-polarization techniques three types of structurally-bound water were observed in these materials. Two of these water types occupy vacancies within the apatitic mineral crystal in synthetic carbonated apatite and deproteinated bone and serve to stabilize these defect-containing crystals. The third water was observed at the mineral surface in unmodified bone but not in deproteinated bone, suggesting a role for this water in mediating mineral-organic matrix interactions. Direct evidence of monohydrogen phosphate in a 1H NMR spectrum of unmodified bone is presented for the first time. We obtained clear evidence for the presence of hydroxide ion in deproteinated bone by 1H MAS NMR. A 1H-31P heteronuclear correlation experiment provided unambiguous evidence for hydroxide ion in unmodified bone as well. Hydroxide ion in both unmodified and deproteinated bone mineral was found to participate in hydrogen bonding with neighboring water molecules and ions. In unmodified bone mineral hydroxide ion was found, through a 1H-31P heteronuclear correlation experiment, to be confined to a small portion of the mineral crystal, probably the internal portion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3722-3731
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2006


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