Synthesis, mechanical properties, and in vitro biocompatibility with osteoblasts of calcium silicate-reduced graphene oxide composites

Mehdi Mehrali, Ehsan Moghaddam, Seyed Farid Seyed Shirazi*, Saeid Baradaran, Mohammad Mehrali, Sara Tahan Latibari, Hendrik Simon Cornelis Metselaar, Nahrizul Adib Kadri, Keivan Zandi, Noor Azuan Abu Osman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Calcium silicate (CaSiO3, CS) ceramics are promising bioactive materials for bone tissue engineering, particularly for bone repair. However, the low toughness of CS limits its application in load-bearing conditions. Recent findings indicating the promising biocompatibility of graphene imply that graphene can be used as an additive to improve the mechanical properties of composites. Here, we report a simple method for the synthesis of calcium silicate/reduced graphene oxide (CS/rGO) composites using a hydrothermal approach followed by hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Adding rGO to pure CS increased the hardness of the material by ∼40%, the elastic modulus by ∼52%, and the fracture toughness by ∼123%. Different toughening mechanisms were observed including crack bridging, crack branching, crack deflection, and rGO pull-out, thus increasing the resistance to crack propagation and leading to a considerable improvement in the fracture toughness of the composites. The formation of bone-like apatite on a range of CS/rGO composites with rGO weight percentages ranging from 0 to 1.5 has been investigated in simulated body fluid (SBF). The presence of a bone-like apatite layer on the composite surface after soaking in SBF was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The biocompatibility of the CS/rGO composites was characterized using methyl thiazole tetrazolium (MTT) assays in vitro. The cell adhesion results showed that human osteoblast cells (hFOB) can adhere to and develop on the CS/rGO composites. In addition, the proliferation rate and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of cells on the CS/rGO composites were improved compared with the pure CS ceramics. These results suggest that calcium silicate/reduced graphene oxide composites are promising materials for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3947-3962
Number of pages16
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bioactivity
  • biocompatibility
  • calcium silicate
  • mechanical properties
  • reduced graphene oxide

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