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Posted: Jul 10, 2012

Nanocomposite scaffold enables regeneration of living bone tissue

(Nanowerk News) Researchers from the Biomaterial Research Department of Isfahan University of Technology reported the fabrication of a scaffold comprising of a polymer–bioceramic nanocomposite with potential applications as bone replacements and tooth substitutes, in particular (see paper in Composites: Part B: "Fabrication, characterization and evaluation of the mechanical properties of poly (ε-caprolactone)/nano-fluoridated hydroxyapatite scaffold for bone tissue engineering").
Their proposed scaffold is consisted of polycaprolactone, as a biodegradable polymer, and fluorhydroxyapatite as a bioactive bioceramic material which tout ensemble form a nanocomposite. The researchers have optimized the mentioned nanocomposite scaffold for tissue engineering purposes in terms of its composition. The patients are expected to benefit from major advantages offered by these scaffolds such as fewer surgeries, faster recovery, and the regeneration of the living tissue.
The utilization of the bioactive biocermaic nanoparticles has proved to enhance the bioactivity, biocompatibility, and mechanical properties of the synthesized scaffold considerably compared to its equivalent scaffold made up of micro-sized material. In addition, the inclusion of these nanoparticles within the polymer matrix closely mimic the structure of natural bones, as in reality the bone tissues contain nano-sized hydroxyapatite crystal grains integrated into a collagen polymer phase.
According to the research results, when the fluorhydroxyapatite, acting as a reinforcing agent, increases, the content of the nanocomposite would lower the scaffold’s porosity. On the other hand, the compressive strength of the investigated scaffold is inversely proportional to its porosity. As a part of their study, the researchers have optimized the latter trade-off to yield a favorable scaffold.
Source: INIC
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