Abstract The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of processing methods on the formation of ultra fine hydroxyapatite (HAp) nanoparticles in the presence of citrate ions and analyze their various physical properties. The addition of the citrate ions was found to reduce the size and prevent the agglomeration of HAp particles dramatically in the high gravity (HG) method compared to precipitation method. In precipitation method, the particle size reduced from 300±70nm to 90±20nm with the addition of citrate ions. In high gravity method, the particle size decreased more significantly from 80±10nm to 13±5nm with the addition of citrate ions. Furthermore, more uniform size distribution of nanoparticles was achieved in high gravity method. X-ray diffraction of nanoparticles prepared in both method exhibited slight shift of peaks to the higher angle with the addition of citric acid, indicating the incorporation of carbonate (CO3) content in the HAp nanoparticles irrespective of the particle size. The mechanical properties of HWMPE matrix composite reinforced with nanoparticles was examined and this nanocomposite with nanoparticles prepared in high gravity method with the addition of citrate ions showed increased mechanical strength due to the considerable reduction in the particle size and higher uniformity of the particles. In vitro cellular analyses of the nanoparticle prepared in high gravity with the addition of citrate ions also displayed the most pronounced spreading of cell growth.