The normal intersurface forces between nanosized probe tips functionalized with COO(-)-terminated alkanethiol self-assembling monolayers and dense, polycrystalline silicon-substituted synthetic hydroxyapatite (SiHA) and phase pure hydroxyapatite (HA) were measured via a nanomechanical technique called chemically specific high-resolution force spectroscopy. A significantly larger van der Waals interaction was observed for the SiHA compared to HA; Hamaker constants (A) were found to be A(SiHA) = 35 +/- 27 zJ and A(HA) = 13 +/- 12 zJ. Using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek approximation, which assumes linear additivity of the electrostatic double layer and van der Waals components, and the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann surface charge model for electrostatic double-layer forces, the surface charge per unit area, sigma (C/m(2)), was calculated as a function of position for specific nanosized areas within individual grains. SiHA was observed to be more negatively charged than HA with sigma(SiHA) = -0.024 +/- 0.013 C/m(2), two times greater than sigma(HA) = -0.011 +/- 0.006 C/m(2). Additionally, SiHA was found to have increased surface adhesion (0.7 +/- 0.3 nN) compared to HA (0.5 +/- 0.3 nN). The characterization of the nanoscale variations in surface forces of SiHA and HA will enable an improved understanding of the initial stages of bone-biomaterial bonding.