Investigating the effects of surface-initiated polymerization of ε-caprolactone to bioactive glass particles on the mechanical properties of settable polymer/ceramic composites

Andrew J. Harmata, Catherine L. Ward, Katarzyna J. Zienkiewicz, Joseph C. Wenke, Scott A. Guelcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Injectable bone grafts with strength exceeding that of trabecular bone could improve the clinical management of a number of orthopedic conditions. Ceramic/polymer composites have been investigated as weight-bearing bone grafts, but they are typically weaker than trabecular bone due to poor interfacial bonding. We hypothesized that entrapment of surface-initiated poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) chains on 45S5 bioactive glass (BG) particles within an in situ-formed polymer network would enhance the mechanical properties of reactive BG/polymer composites. When the surface-initiated PCL molecular weight exceeded the molecular weight between crosslinks of the network, the compressive strength of the composites increased 6- to 10-fold. The torsional strength of the composites exceeded that of human trabecular bone by a factor of two. When injected into femoral condyle defects in rats, the composites supported new bone formation at 8 weeks. The initial bone-like strength of BG/polymer composites and their ability to remodel in vivo highlight their potential for development as injectable grafts for repair of weight-bearing bone defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Volume760
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • composite
  • polymer
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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