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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2010 Aug;21(8):2293-8. doi: 10.1007/s10856-009-3964-1. Epub 2009 Dec 20.

Development and characterisation of a collagen nano-hydroxyapatite composite scaffold for bone tissue engineering.

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Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.


Bone regeneration requires scaffolds that possess suitable mechanical and biological properties. This study sought to develop a novel collagen-nHA biocomposite scaffold via two new methods. Firstly a stable nHA suspension was produced and added to a collagen slurry (suspension method), and secondly, porous collagen scaffolds were immersed in nHA suspension after freeze-drying (immersion method). Significantly stronger constructs were produced using both methods compared to collagen only scaffolds, with a high porosity maintained (>98.9%). It was found that Coll-nHA composite scaffolds produced by the suspension method were up to 18 times stiffer than the collagen control (5.50 +/- 1.70 kPa vs. 0.30 +/- 0.09 kPa). The suspension method was also more reproducible, and the quantity of nHA incorporated could be varied with greater ease than with the immersion technique. In addition, Coll-nHA composites display excellent biological activity, demonstrating their potential as bone graft substitutes in orthopaedic regenerative medicine.

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