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Biomaterials. 2012 Jul;33(20):5067-75. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.03.063. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Mechanical properties and biomineralization of multifunctional nanodiamond-PLLA composites for bone tissue engineering.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Multifunctional bone scaffold materials have been produced from a biodegradable polymer, poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), and 1-10% wt of octadecylamine-functionalized nanodiamond (ND-ODA) via solution casting followed by compression molding. By comparison to pure PLLA, the addition of 10% wt of ND-ODA resulted in a significant improvement of the mechanical properties of the composite matrix, including a 280% increase in the strain at failure and a 310% increase in fracture energy in tensile tests. The biomimetic process of bonelike apatite growth on the ND-ODA/PLLA scaffolds was studied using microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. The enhanced mechanical properties and the increased mineralization capability with higher ND-ODA concentration suggest that these biodegradable composites may potentially be useful for a variety of biomedical applications, including scaffolds for orthopedic regenerative engineering.

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