Tungsten disulfide nanotubes reinforced biodegradable polymers for bone tissue engineering.

Acta biomaterialia (2013-06-04)
Gaurav Lalwani, Allan M Henslee, Behzad Farshid, Priyanka Parmar, Liangjun Lin, Yi-Xian Qin, F Kurtis Kasper, Antonios G Mikos, Balaji Sitharaman

In this study, we have investigated the efficacy of inorganic nanotubes as reinforcing agents to improve the mechanical properties of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) composites as a function of nanomaterial loading concentration (0.01-0.2 wt.%). Tungsten disulfide nanotubes (WSNTs) were used as reinforcing agents in the experimental group. Single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs) were used as positive controls, and crosslinked PPF composites were used as the baseline control. Mechanical testing (compression and three-point bending) shows a significant enhancement (up to 28-190%) in the mechanical properties (compressive modulus, compressive yield strength, flexural modulus and flexural yield strength) of WSNT-reinforced PPF nanocomposites compared to the baseline control. In comparison to the positive controls, significant improvements in the mechanical properties of WSNT nanocomposites were also observed at various concentrations. In general, the inorganic nanotubes (WSNTs) showed mechanical reinforcement better than (up to 127%) or equivalent to that of carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs). Sol fraction analysis showed significant increases in the crosslinking density of PPF in the presence of WSNTs (0.01-0.2 wt.%). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis on thin sections of crosslinked nanocomposites showed the presence of WSNTs as individual nanotubes in the PPF matrix, whereas SWCNTs and MWCNTs existed as micron-sized aggregates. The trend in the surface area of nanostructures obtained by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analysis was SWCNTs>MWCNTs>WSNTs. The BET surface area analysis, TEM analysis and sol fraction analysis results taken together suggest that chemical composition (inorganic vs. carbon nanomaterials), the presence of functional groups (such as sulfide and oxysulfide) and individual dispersion of the nanomaterials in the polymer matrix (absence of aggregation of the reinforcing agent) are the key parameters affecting the mechanical properties of nanostructure-reinforced PPF composites and the reason for the observed increases in the mechanical properties compared to the baseline and positive controls.

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Tungsten, foil, thickness 0.5 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis
Tungsten, wire, diam. 0.25 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis
Tungsten, wire, diam. 1.0 mm, 99.99% trace metals basis
Tungsten, foil, thickness 0.127 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis
Tungsten, wire, diam. 0.5 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis
Tungsten, foil, thickness 0.05 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis
Tungsten, foil, thickness 0.25 mm, ≥99.9% trace metals basis