Glutamic acid inducing kidney stone biomimicry by a brushite/gelatin composite
Brushite is a well known precursor of calcium oxalate monohydrate, the main mineral found in kidney stones having a monoclinic crystal structure. Here, we present a new method for biomimicking brushite using a single tube diffusion technique for gel growth. Brushite crystals were grown by precipitation of calcium hydrogen phosphate hydrate in a gelatin/glutamic acid network. They are compared with those produced in gel in the presence of urea. The aggregates were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (IR) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). SEM revealed a change of morphology by glutamic acid from spherulitic growth to plate-shaped and mushroom-like forms consisting of crystal plates and highly ordered prismatic needles, respectively. Furthermore, brushite crystals grown in a gelatin/glutamic acid/urea network showed needle-shaped morphology being different from other brushite growth forms. The XRD method showed that cell parameters for brushite specimens were slightly larger than those of the American Mineral Society reference structure. The mushroom-like biomimetic composite bears a strong resemblance to the brushite kidney stones which may open up new future treatment options for crystal deposition diseases. Hence, suitable diets from glutamic acid rich foods could be recommended to inhibit and control brushite kidney stones.