Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 44, Issue 17, pp 4531–4538 | Cite as

Nucleation and growth mechanism of apatite on a bioactive and degradable ceramic/polymer composite with a thick polymer layer

  • Jeong-Cheol Lee
  • Sung Baek Cho
  • Seung Jin Lee
  • Sang-Hoon RheeEmail author


Nucleation and growth mechanism of apatite on a bioactive and degradable PLLA/SiO2–CaO composite with a thick PLLA surface layer were investigated compared to that on a bioactive but non-degradable polyurethane (PU)/SiO2–CaO composite with a thick PU surface layer. The bioactive SiO2–CaO particles were made by a sol–gel method from tetraethyl orthosilicate and calcium nitrate tetrahydrate under acidic condition followed by heat treatment at 600 °C for 2 h. The PLLA/SiO2–CaO and PU/SiO2–CaO composites were then prepared by a solvent casting method which resulted in thick PLLA and PU surface layers, respectively, due to precipitation of SiO2–CaO particles during the casting process. Two composites were exposed to SBF for 1 week and this exposure led to form uniform and complete apatite coating layer on the PLLA/SiO2–CaO composite but not on the PU/SiO2-CaO composite. These results were interpreted in terms of the degradability of the polymers. A practical implication of the results is that a post-surface grinding or cutting processes to expose bioactive ceramics to the surface of a composite with a thick biodegradable polymer layer is not required for providing apatite forming ability, which has been considered as one of the pragmatic obstacles for the application as a bone grafting material.


Apatite PLLA Surface Crack Bioactive Glass Composite Surface 



This work was supported by the Nano Bio R&D Program (Platform technologies for organ/tissue regeneration (Regenomics), Grant No. M0528010001-06N2801-00110) of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeong-Cheol Lee
    • 1
  • Sung Baek Cho
    • 2
  • Seung Jin Lee
    • 3
  • Sang-Hoon Rhee
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Dental Biomaterials Science and Dental Research Institute, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversityJongno, SeoulKorea
  2. 2.Mineral & Materials Processing DivisionKorea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral ResourcesYuseong, DaejeonKorea
  3. 3.College of PharmacyEwha Womans UniversitySeodaemun, SeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of Dental Biomaterials Science, Dental Research Institute, and BK21HLS, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversityJongno, SeoulKorea

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