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J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2013 Apr;20:173-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.11.012. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Chitosan membranes containing micro or nano-size bioactive glass particles: evolution of biomineralization followed by in situ dynamic mechanical analysis.

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3B's Research Group - Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, 4806-909 Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal.


A new family of biodegradable polymer/bioactive glass (BG) composite materials has emerged based on the availability of nano-sized bioactive particles. Such novel biocomposites can have enhanced performance, in terms of mechanical properties and bioactivity, and they can be designed to be used in bone regeneration approaches. In this work, membranes of chitosan (CTS) and chitosan with bioactive glass (BG) both micron and nano sized particles (CTS/μBG, CTS/nBG, respectively) were prepared by solvent casting. Microstructural and mechanical properties were evaluated in order to compare the effects of the incorporation of micro (μBG) and nano (nBG) particles in the chitosan matrix. In vitro bioactivity tests were performed to characterize the apatite layer that is formed on the surface of the material after being immersed in simulated body fluid (SBF). The biomineralization process on the biomaterials was also followed using non-conventional dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), both online and offline. In such DMA experiments, the change in the storage modulus, E', and the loss factor, tan δ, were measured as a function of the immersion time in SBF. The results demonstrated that CTS/nBG membranes possess enhanced mechanical properties and higher bioactivity in comparison with the CTS/μBG membranes. Such results suggest the potential of nBG for the development of bioactive composites for bone regeneration applications.

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