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Open AccessArticle

Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticle Precipitation by a Continuous Flow Process: A Design of an Experiment Approach

1
Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (ISTEC), National Research Council (CNR), Via Granarolo 64, 48018 Faenza, Italy
2
Fin-Ceramica Faenza SPA, Via Granarolo 177/3, 48018 Faenza, Italy
3
Food and Drug Department, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
4
Plumestars srl, Strada Inzani 1, 43125 Parma, Italy
5
Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, IRCCS, 20089 Rozzano, Italy
6
Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research (IRGB)-UOS, National Research Council (CNR), 20090 Milan, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100953
Received: 21 September 2020 / Revised: 15 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 October 2020 / Published: 19 October 2020
Calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CaP NPs) are an efficient class of nanomaterials mainly used for biomedical applications but also very promising in other sectors such as cosmetics, catalysis, water remediation, and agriculture. Unfortunately, as in the case of other nanomaterials, their wide application is hindered by the difficulty to control size, morphology, purity and degree of particle aggregation in the translation from laboratory to industrial scale production that is usually carried out in batch or semi-batch systems. In this regard, the use of continuous flow synthesis can help to solve this problem, providing more homogenous reaction conditions and highly reproducible synthesis. In this paper, we have studied with a design of experiment approach the precipitation of citrate functionalized CaP NPs aided by sonication using a continuous flow wet chemical precipitation, and the effect of some of the most relevant process factors (i.e., reactant flow rate, sonication amplitude, and maturation time) on the physico-chemical properties of the NPs were evaluated. From the statistical data analysis, we have found that CaP NP dimensions are influenced by the reactor flow rate, while the crystalline domain dimensions and product purity are influenced by the maturation process. This work provides a deeper understanding of the relationships between reaction process factors and CaP NP properties, and is a relevant contribution for the scale-up production of CaP NPs for nanomedical or other applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: calcium phosphate; nanoparticles; design of experiment; continuous flow synthesis; nanomedicine calcium phosphate; nanoparticles; design of experiment; continuous flow synthesis; nanomedicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Degli Esposti, L.; Dotti, A.; Adamiano, A.; Fabbi, C.; Quarta, E.; Colombo, P.; Catalucci, D.; De Luca, C.; Iafisco, M. Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticle Precipitation by a Continuous Flow Process: A Design of an Experiment Approach. Crystals 2020, 10, 953.

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