Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) {Ca8H2(PO4)6×5H2O] has attracted increasing attention over the last decade as a transient intermediate to the biogenic apatite for bone engineering and in studies involving the processes of pathological calcification. In this work, OCP powders obtained by hydrolysis of dicalcium phosphate dehydrate were subjected to X- and γ-ray irradiation and studied by means of stationary and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance at 9, 36 and 94 GHz microwave frequencies. Several types of paramagnetic centers were observed in the investigated samples. Their spectroscopic parameters (components of the g and hyperfine tensors) were determined. Based on the extracted parameters, the induced centers were ascribed to H0, CO33–, CO2 and nitrogen-centered (presumably NO32–) radicals. The spectroscopic parameters of the nitrogen-centered stable radical in OCP powders were found to be markedly different from those in hydroxyapatite. According to X-ray diffraction data, γ-ray irradiation allowed the phase composition of calcium phosphates to change; all minor phases with the exception of OCP and hydroxyapatite disappeared, while the OCP crystal lattice parameters changed after irradiation. The obtained results could be used for the tracing of mineralization processes from their initiation to completion of the final product, identification of the OCP phase, and to follow the influence of radiation processes on phase composition of calcium phosphates.

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