Assoc Pt Government Laboratory

Braga, Portugal

Assoc Pt Government Laboratory

Braga, Portugal
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Silva M.,University of Minho | Silva M.,Assoc Pt Government Laboratory | Caridade S.G.,University of Minho | Caridade S.G.,Assoc Pt Government Laboratory | And 10 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2017

Graphene and its derivatives are promising as reinforcement for polymer nanocomposites. Additionally to their inherent outstanding mechanical properties, these nanoparticles may be functionalized to enhance their compatibility with the polymeric matrix and provide specific chemical and physical properties. In this work, new freestanding films (FS) based on chitosan (CHI), alginate (ALG) and functionalized graphene were developed using the layer-by-layer assembly. Suspensions of functionalized graphene nanoflakes (f-GF) and nanoribbons (f-GNR) were prepared from expanded graphite (EG) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), respectively. The graphene nanoflakes and MWNTs were covalently functionalized using a 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction that allowed the nanoparticles exfoliation. f-GNR and f-GF suspensions were characterized to demonstrate that graphene nanoflakes and MWNTs were successfully functionalized and exfoliated. Then, the layer-by-layer deposition of CHI, ALG and both types of functionalized graphene was investigated and FS films were produced. The morphology, thermal and mechanical characteristics of the produced FS films were assessed. Their degradation and swelling profiles as well as their biological behavior were evaluated. The incorporation of f-GF resulted in smoother films while the incorporation of f-GNR resulted in rougher films. When compared with the CHI/ALG bi-component films. Both graphene containing films remained hydrophobic. The graphene incorporation in the multilayered FS was estimated to be 1.7 wt% for f-GF and 2.5 wt% for f-GNR. The presence of functionalized graphene did not affect the thermal stability of the films, it increased the storage modulus and the dynamic mechanical response at 1 Hz and 37 °C, and decreased the electrical resistivity. The biological assays revealed cytocompatibility towards L929 cells when both f-GF and f-GNR were incorporated in the CHI/ALG matrix. In conclusion, these new f-GF and f-GNR reinforced FS films present great potential for use in biomedical applications such as films for wound healing or cardiac and bone engineering. © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Rodrigues J.R.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Rodrigues J.R.,Assoc Pt Government Laboratory | Alves N.M.,European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Alves N.M.,Assoc Pt Government Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2016

Nowadays, guided tissue regeneration (GTR) research is centred in the development of composite bioabsorbable membranes with enhanced bioactivity and with processing controlled at the nanoscale. Inspired by this new focus of GTR research and also by nacre structure, layered freestanding membranes were produced using the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) deposition technique, combining chitosan (CHI), hyaluronic acid (HA) and bioactive glass nanoparticles (BGNPs). It is expected that the combination of these materials processed by this particular technique will result in nanostructured membranes with enhanced mechanical performance as well as improved bioactivity. Moreover, the effect of the modification of HA with catechol groups (HAD) on the adhesive properties of the membranes was also analysed. The results showed that it was possible to produce biomimetic membranes with different surface properties, improved adhesive strength and the ability to induce the formation of apatite, necessary for the formation of new bone. It was also possible to control the BGNPs content of the membranes by use of HAD instead of unmodified HA and changing the number of BGNPs' deposition steps. Moreover, it was shown that membranes with different concentrations of BGNPs possess different mechanical performance, swelling properties and degradation behaviour, which indicates the possibility to tune the membranes' properties by controlling the deposition of BGNPs onto the membranes. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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