Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications

Formation of carrageenan-CaCO3 bioactive membranes.

PMID 26478280


The high biocompatibility and resorbability of polymeric membranes have encouraged their use to manufacture medical devices. Here, we report on the preparation of membranes consisting of carrageenan, a naturally occurring sulfated polysaccharide that forms helical structures in the presence of calcium ions. We incorporated CaCO3 particles into the membranes to enhance their bioactivity and mechanical properties. Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction data confirmed CaCO3 incorporation into the polymeric matrix. We tested the bioactivity of the samples by immersing them in a solution that mimics the ionic composition and pH of the human body fluid. The hybrid membranes generated hydroxyapatite, as attested by X-ray diffraction data. Scanning electron and atomic force microscopies aided investigation of membrane topography before and after CaCO3 deposition. The wettability and surface free energy, evaluated by contact angle measures, increased in the presence of CaCO3 particles. These parameters are important for membrane implantation in the body. Moreover, membrane stiffness was up to 110% higher in the presence of the inorganic particles, as revealed by Young's modulus.