Self-photopolymerizable hydrogel-ceramic composites with scavenger properties
de Lima, Gabriel Goetten
de Sá, Marcelo J.C.
Nugent, Michael J.D.
Rodríguez, Miguel A.
Devine, Declan M.
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The photocatalytic behaviours of semiconductive ceramic nanoparticles such as TiO2 , ZnO, Fe2O3 , and Fe3O4 , have been extensively studied in photocatalysis and photopolymerization, due to their ability to produce radical species under ultraviolet–visible light, and even in dark conditions. In addition, in the form of microparticles, TiO2 and its Magnéli phases are capable of neutralizing radical species, and a heterogeneous catalytic process has been suggested to explain this property, as it is well known as scavenging activity. Thus, in this study, we demonstrate that these ceramic powders, in the form of microparticles, could be used as photoinitiators in UV polymerization in order to synthesize a hydrogel matrix. Them, embedded ceramic powders could be able to neutralize radical species of physiological media once implanted. The hydrogel matrix would regulate the exchange of free radicals in any media, while the ceramic particles would neutralize the reactive species. Therefore, in this work, the scavenger activities of TiO2 , ZnO, Fe2O3 , and Fe3O4 microparticles, along with their photoinitiation yield, were evaluated. After photopolymerization, the gel fraction and swelling behaviour were evaluated for each hydrogel produced with different ceramic initiators. Gel fractions were higher than 60%, exhibiting variation in their scavenging activity. Therefore, we demonstrate that ceramic photoinitiators of TiO2 , ZnO, Fe2O3 , and Fe3O4 can be used to fabricate implantable devices with scavenger properties in order to neutralize radical species involved in inflammatory processes and degenerative diseases.
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