Heterogeneous nucleation of calcium oxalate crystals in mammalian urine

S. R. Khan, G. H. Nancollas, A. Boskey, W. Achilles, R. Ryall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


It is generally recognized that calcium oxalate crystal formation in urine is induced by heterogeneous nucleation. However, there is no consensus as to the nature of the nucleation substrate. Evidence is provided in this paper that membranous cellular degradation products are the most likely candidates because they: (1) are ubiquitous in urine and urinary stones; (2) are found in close association with crystal deposits in the kidneys; and (3) can induce nucleation of crystals from a metastable solution of calcium oxalate in vitro and metastable urine in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-616
Number of pages20
JournalScanning Microscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium oxalate
  • calcium phosphate
  • cell membrane
  • matrix vesicles
  • mineralization
  • nephrolithiasis
  • urolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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