Nanoreinforcement of poly(propylene fumarate)-based networks with surface modified alumoxane nanoparticles for bone tissue engineering.
A novel composite material has been fabricated for bone tissue engineering scaffolds utilizing the biodegradable polymer poly(propylene fumarate)/poly(propylene fumarate)-diacrylate (PPF/PPF-DA) and surface-modified carboxylate alumoxane nanoparticles. Various surface-modified nanoparticles were added to the polymer including a surfactant alumoxane, an activated alumoxane, a mixed alumoxane containing both activated and surfactant groups, and a hybrid alumoxane containing both groups within the same substituent. These nanocomposites, as well as polymer resin and unmodified boehmite composites, underwent flexural and compressive mechanical testing and were examined using electron microscopy. Hybrid alumoxane nanoparticles dispersed in PPF/PPF-DA exhibited over a 3-fold increase in flexural modulus at 1 wt % loading compared to polymer resin alone. No significant loss of flexural or compressive strength was observed with increased loading of hybrid alumoxane nanoparticles. These dramatic improvements in flexural properties may be attributed to the fine dispersion of nanoparticles into the polymer and increased covalent interaction between polymer chains and surface modifications of nanoparticles.