Sporopollenin Capsules as Biomimetic Templates for the Synthesis of Hydroxyapatite and β-TCP

Arianna De Mori, Daniel Quizon, Hannah Dalton, Berzah Yavuzyegit, Guido Cerri, Milan Antonijevic, Marta Roldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)


Pollen grains, with their resilient sporopollenin exine and defined morphologies, have been explored as bio-templates for the synthesis of calcium phosphate minerals, particularly hydroxyapatite (HAp) and β-tricalcium phosphate (TCP). Various pollen morphologies from different plant species (black alder, dandelion, lamb’s quarters, ragweed, and stargazer lily) were evaluated. Pollen grains underwent acid washing to remove allergenic material and facilitate subsequent calcification. Ragweed and lamb’s quarter pollen grains were chosen as templates for calcium phosphate salts deposition due to their distinct morphologies. The calcification process yielded well-defined spherical hollow particles. The washing step, intended to reduce the protein content, did not significantly affect the final product; thus, justifying the removal of this low-yield step from the synthesis process. Characterisation techniques, including X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis, confirmed the successful calcification of pollen-derived materials, revealing that calcified grains were principally composed of calcium deficient HAp. After calcination, biphasic calcium phosphate composed of HAp and TPC was obtained. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using pollen grains as green and sustainable bio-templates for synthesizing biomaterials with controlled morphology, showcasing their potential in biomedical applications such as drug delivery and bone regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number159
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024


  • sporopollenin
  • bio-template
  • calcium phosphate
  • hydroxyapatite

Cite this