Oligomers of the negatively-charged amino acids, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and O-phospho-L-serine are adsorbed by hydroxylapatite and illite with affinities that increase with oligomer length. In the case of oligo-glutamic acids adsorbed on hydroxylapatite, addition of an extra residue results in an approximately four-fold increase in the strength of adsorption. Oligomers much longer than the 7-mer are retained tenaciously by the mineral. Repeated incubation of short oligo-glutamic acids adsorbed on hydroxylapatite or illite with activated monomer leads to the accumulation of oligomers at least 45 units long. The corresponding reactions of aspartic acid and O-phospho-L-serine on hyroxylapatite are less effective in generating long oligomers, while illite fails to accumulate substantial amounts of long oligomers of aspartic acid or O-phospho-L-serine.