Bioglass and Bioceramics have found clinical applications in bone repairs. However, because of their brittleness and poor mechanical properties, their applications are generally limited to non load bearing conditions. Polymer composites fabricated by shear mixing of bioactive inorganic phase (bioglass, ceramics, or hydroxyl apatite) with high mechanical performance biocompatible organic polymer phase are eliciting strong interest because of the similarity with natural bone, a composite of apatite and collagen matrix. The poor interfacial bonding between the organic polymer phase and the inorganic apatite or bioglass phase in synthetic composites generally give rise to lower stress transfer ability in applications as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering especially under load bearing condition. To achieve high stress transfer, chemical integration of the two phases would be required.
The specific aims of the work proposed here are: 1. To fabricate by sol-gel techniques 3-D macroporous hybrid materials incorporating inorganic bioglass (CaO-SiO2-ZnO) with a variety of organic phases: a.Biocompatible organic polymers , poly(propylene fumarate) and poly(trimethoxysilyl)propylmethacrylate (PTPMA)-chemically integrated with bioglass. b.Silane functionalized carbon nanotubes integrated with bioglass by sol-gel processing. c.Nucleation of nano-apatite on side wall functionalized carbon nanotubes (-COO-, HO- and phosphonic acid groups) using hydrothermal technique. These fabricated composites are expected to show excellent bone bondind ability arising from bioglass with improved mechanical properties and thus find application, especially as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. We shall also develop composition-property relationship to provide guidance for predicting how fabrication variables, (ratio of organic : inorganic matrix, porosity, type of polymer and polymer to co-polymer ratio) affect bioactivity (bone bonding ability) when compared to bulk bioglasses and mechanical properties compared to natural bone. The bioactivity will be conducted using simulated body fluid and cell studies using human fetal osteoblastic cells. Another aim of the proposed work is to bring together complementary expertise to support strong biomedical research at PVAMU and specifically, enhance research productivity and scholarship of respective investigators. This proposed study will fabricate hybrid composites materials with excellent bone bonding ability and improved mechanical properties without the problems associated with the use of autografts and allografts in repairing defective or diseased bone This project involves the fabrication of synthetic composite materials that can be utilized in bone repair or treatment of bone diseases. These lightweight composites are biocompatible and are able to stimulate bone mineral formation in body fluid.
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