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Development of hydroxyapatite-mediated synthesis of collagen-based copolymers for application as bio scaffolds in bone regeneration

  • Didarul Bhuiyan (a1), John Middleton (a1) and Rina Tannenbaum (a2)


Hydroxyapatite (HAP) is a biocompatible bio-ceramic whose structure and composition is similar to bone. However, its lack of strength and toughness have seriously hampered its applications as a bone graft substitute material. Attempts have been made to overcome these mechanical properties deficiencies by combining HAP bioceramic material with absorbable polymers in order to improve its mechanical properties. However, poor interfacial bonding between the HAP and the polymers has limited the benefits of such biocomposite structures. At the other end of the biomaterials spectrum is collagen, which constitutes the most abundant proteins in the body and exhibits properties such as biodegradability, bioadsorbability with low antigenicity, high affinity to water, and the ability to interact with cells through integrin recognition. These favorable properties renders collagen as a natural candidate for the modification and compatibilization of the polymer-HAP biocomposite. In this study, we developed a novel approach to the synthesis of a potential bone graft material, where the HAP moiety acts not only as a bioceramic filler, but also constitutes the initiator surface that promotes the in-situ polymerization of the adsorbable polymer of choice. The synthesis of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymer was catalyzed by nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAP) particles and upon reaction completion, the biocomposite material was tethered with collagen. The synthesis was monitored by 1H NMR and FTIR spectroscopies and the products after each step were characterized by thermal analysis to probe both thermal stability, morphological integrity and mechanical properties.



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