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Reference type: Journal
Authors: Egan TJ, Rodgers AL, Siele T
Article Title: Nucleation of calcium oxalate crystals on an imprinted polymer surface from pure aqueous solution and urine.
Publication date: 2004
Journal: Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Volume: 9
Issue: (2)
Page numbers: 195-202.
DOI: 10.1007/s00775-003-0517-9

Abstract: Calcium oxalate (CaOx) is the most common component of human kidney stones. Heterogeneous nucleation is regarded as the key mechanism in this process. In this study, we have used an imprinted 6-methacrylamidohexanoic acid/divinylbenzene co- polymer as a biomimetic surface to nucleate CaOx crystal formation. The polymer was imprinted with either calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) or dihydrate (COD) template crystals. These were washed out of the polymer, which was then immersed in various test solutions. The test solutions were an aqueous solution of calcium chloride and sodium oxalate, artificial urine and a sample of real urine. Crystals that formed on the polymer surface were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that in the aqueous solution the COM-imprinted polymer induced the nucleation of COM. The COD-imprinted polymer induced only trace amounts of COD crystallization, together with larger quantities of COM. In artificial and real urines, COM also specifically precipitated on the COM-imprinted surface. The results show that, at least to some extent, the imprinted polymers direct formation of their morphologically matched crystals. In the case of COD, however, it appears that either rapid hydrate transformation of COD to COM occurs, or the more stable COM polymorph is directly co-precipitated by the polymer. Our results support the hypothesis that heterogeneous nucleation plays a key role in CaOx stone formation and that the imprinted polymer model could provide an additional and superior diagnostic tool for stone researchers to assess stone- risk in urine

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