In Vitro Degradation of Poly(caprolactone)/nHA Composites
Díaz Tajada, Esperanza
Sandonis Oleaga, Iván
Valle García, María Blanca
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Journal of Nanomaterials 2014 : (2014) // Article ID 802435
The degradation behavior and mechanical properties of polycaprolactone/nanohydroxyapatite composite scaffolds are studied in phosphate buffered solution (PBS), at 37 degrees C, over 16 weeks. Under scanning electron microscopy (SEM), it was observed that the longer the porous scaffolds remained in the PBS, the more significant the thickening of the pore walls of the scaffold morphology was. A decrease in the compressive properties, such as the modulus and the strength of the PCL/nHA composite scaffolds, was observed as the degradation experiment progressed. Samples with high nHA concentrations degraded more significantly in comparison to those with a lower content. Pure PCL retained its mechanical properties comparatively well in the study over the period of degradation. After the twelfth week, the results obtained by GPC analysis indicated a significant reduction in their molecular weight. The addition of nHA particles to the scaffolds accelerated the weight loss of the composites and increased their capacity to absorb water during the initial degradation process. The addition of these particles also affected the degradation behavior of the composite scaffolds, although they were not effective at compensating the decrease in pH prompted by the degradation products of the PCL.