Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine

Development of nano-sized hydroxyapatite reinforced composites for tissue engineering scaffolds.

PMID 17891551


Nano-sized hydroxyapatite (nanoHA) reinforced composites, mimicking natural bone, were produced. Examination by transmission electron microscopy revealed that the nanoHA particles had a rod-like morphology, 20-30 nm in width and 50-80 nm in length. The phase composition of hydroxyapatite was confirmed by X-ray diffraction. The nanoHA particles were incorporated into poly-2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (PHEMA)/polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix to make new nanocomposites: nanoHA-PHEMA/PCL. Porous nanocomposite scaffolds were then produced using a porogen leaching method. The interconnectivity of the porous structure of the scaffolds was revealed by non-destructive X-ray microtomography. Porosity of 84% was achieved and pore sizes were approximately around 300-400 microm. An in vitro study found that the nanocomposites were bioactive as indicated by the formation of a bone-like apatite layer after immersion in simulated body fluid. Furthermore, the nanocomposites were able to support the growth and proliferation of primary human osteoblast (HOB) cells. HOB cells developed a well organized actin cytoskeletal protein on the nanocomposite surface. The results demonstrate the potential of the nanocomposite scaffolds for tissue engineering applications for bone repair.

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