A novel method for the fabrication of homogeneous hydroxyapatite/collagen nanocomposite and nanocomposite scaffold with hierarchical porosity
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Homogeneous nanocomposites composed of hydroxyapatite (HAp) and collagen were synthesized using a novel in situ precipitation method through dual template-driven. The morphological and componential properties of nanocomposites were investigated. The HAp particulates, in sizes of about 50–100 nm, were distributed homogeneously in the organic collagen hydrogel. Highly magnified TEM observation showed that HAp inorganic particles were composed of fine sub-particles (2–5 nm) without regular crystallographic orientation. Based on these homogeneous nanocomposites, a novel HAp/collagen nanocomposite scaffold with hierarchical porosity was prepared by multilevel freeze-drying technique. Compared to other conventional scaffolds for tissue engineering, this novel in situ method endows synthesized composite scaffolds with unique morphology—ultrafine HAp particles dispersed homogenously in collagen at nano level and the foam scaffold with hierarchical pore structures. The mechanical performance increased obviously compared with neat collagen. These results provided an efficient approach toward new biomimetic tissue scaffold for the biomedical applications with enhanced intensity/bioactivity and controlled resorption rates. This novel method, we expect, will lead to a wide application in many other hydrogel systems and may be useful for fabrication of various homogeneous inorganic/organic nanocomposites.
KeywordsEnvironmental Scanning Electron Microscope Composite Scaffold Pure Collagen Crosslinking Degree Hierarchical Pore Structure
This research was financed by National Natural Science Foundation of China (30900297 to XY Shen) and the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20090141120055 to XY Shen).