In recent years, researchers working in biomedical science and technology have investigated alternatives for enhancing the mechanical properties of biomedical materials. In this work, sodium alginate (SA) hydrogel-reinforced nanoparticles (NPs) of hydroxyapatite (HA) were prepared to enhance the mechanical properties of this polymer. Compression tests showed an increase of 354.54% in ultimate compressive strength (UCS), and 154.36% in Young’s modulus with the addition of these NPs compared with pure SA. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed that the amount of residual water is not negligible and covered a range from 20 to 35 wt%, and the decomposition degree of the alginate depends on the hydroxyapatite content, possibly due to the displacement of sodium ions by the hydroxyapatite and not by calcium chloride. Further, there is an important effect possibly due to the existence of an interaction of hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl of the alginate and the oxygen atoms of the hydroxyapatite, so signals appear upfield in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data. An increase in the accumulation of HA particles was observed with the use of X-ray microtomography, in which the quantified volume of particles per reconstructed volume corresponded accordingly to the increase in the mechanical properties of the hydrogel.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This research was co-funded by Operational Programme Research, Development and Education in the project INAFYM (CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000766) and by the RVO 68378297 of the Czech Acad Sci.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
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Pizaña, Edgar Iván Rodríguez (Recipient), Galván, Katya Patricia Villarreal (Recipient) & Peña Parás, Laura (Recipient), 2017