Keywords: carbon nanotubes, CNTs, polymethylmethacrylate, PMMA, hydroxyapatite, HA, nanocomposites, scaffolds, bone replacement, tissue engineering, nanotube coatings, nanomaterials, biocompatibility
Modelling on the mechanical properties of nanocomposite hydroxyapatite/PMMA/carbon nanotube coatings
A combination of Hydroxyapatite (HA), Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) was used to synthesize a new composite material, which is superior in mechanical properties to the conventional HA as a biomedical scaffold in tissue engineering. PMMA is well-known as a bone cement highly compatible with HA and can act as a functionalising/linking and/or coupling agent with the HA-CNTs mixtures, while the unique and excellent structure and properties of CNTs, after functionalisation, are able to reinforce and strengthen the porous HA matrix. The evolution of the secondary phases of HA may impair the mechanical properties; however, the evolving species (calcium oxide, tetra-calcium and tri-calcium phosphates or amorphous calcium phosphates) are trapped in the CNTs-PMMA network yielding a nanocomposite with improved mechanical and longer lasting lifetime performance, based on preliminary observations, shows good biocompatibility, and a detailed study to evaluate its biocompatibility is underway. The experimental study was characterised by means of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), vibrational Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).