Bioactive composites fabricated by freezing-thawing method for bone regeneration applications.
de Lima, Gabriel G.
Rodríguez, Miguel A.
Nugent, Michael J.D.
Devine, Declan M.
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Hydrogels are widely used for controlled delivery of therapeutic agents. However, hydrogels lack bioactivity to encourage bone formation and mechanical integrity. Moreover, chemically crosslinked hydrogels exhibit cytotoxic effect. To overcome these limitations poly‐vinyl alcohol (PVA) and poly‐acrylic acid (PAA) blends were combined with ceramic materials based on β tricalcium phosphate, wollastonite, and magnesium silicate with different pore size distributions. The final 3D matrix was physically crosslinked using various freeze thawing (F/T) cycles. FTIR and SEM analysis showed that ceramics were dispersed within the polymer matrix and formed hydrogen bonds. Swelling studies in buffer solution pH 7.4 showed an increase in polymer swelling when ceramic was added. Furthermore, rheological testing demonstrated that incorporation of ceramics caused an increase in mechanical properties which varies with different pore size distributions of ceramics grains added. DSC thermograms showed increased Tg values for samples containing ceramics. Antimicrobial activity containing ciprofloxacin was tested against a pathogen associated with osteomyelitis and presented positive results with ciprofloxacin. The combination of increased strength and ability to encapsulate a clinically relevant antimicrobial agent indicates that the composite tested in this study has potential for the treatment of osteomyelitis.
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