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Three-phase biocomposites based on natural rubber reinforced with cellulose nanowhiskers and bioglasses obtained by solution blowspinning technique

Grant number: 21/10512-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Michael Jones da Silva
Grantee:Michael Jones da Silva
Host: Alexander L. Yarin
Home Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rosana. Rosana , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), United States  

Abstract

Biomaterials are defined as substances or mixtures (natural or artificial) that can replace, repair, or treat biological systems partially or totally. Natural polymers have garnered special attention within the class of biomaterials owing to their biocompatibility and low cytotoxicity. Natural rubber (NR) extracted from Hevea brasiliensis has great potential for biomedical applications by virtue of its angiogenic and mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and renewability. Bioglass (BG) 45S5, possessing bioactive and biocompatible properties, can form a rich surface layer of hydroxyapatite capable of chemically binding to bone tissue. The objective of this research project is to develop a new biocomposite based on NR containing 45S5 BG particles and cellulose nanowhiskers (CNW), which exhibit better mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and bioactivity for biomedical applications. The triphasic biocomposite membranes will be obtained by two methods: (i) casting and (ii) solution blow-spinning technique. To verify the effects of the incorporation of BG and CNW on the final properties of the flexible membranes, various thermal analyses (using thermogravimetric analysis, dynamic mechanical analysis, and differential scanning calorimetry), mechanical tests, and morphological analyses (using scanning electron microscopy) will be conducted. Since CNW act as a three-dimensional network of water channels causing improved mineralization of the BG particles, the role of CNW in regulating the bioactive properties of the biocomposites will be evaluated through water absorption tests and biological assays. In vitro biological assays, such as assessment tests for cytotoxicity, cell adhesion, and deoxyribonucleic acid damage, will be conducted to evaluate the biocompatibility and bioactivity of the membranes. For a comparative analysis, the tests will be performed on membranes of the biocomposite with and without CNW. Finally, the current project aims to develop a new flexible biocompatible biomaterial, by employing a reliable and reproducible method for mixing the three phases (NR, CNW, and BG), with excellent mechanical, thermal and bioactive properties. In particular, this project intends to develop a biocomposite that inherits the intrinsic properties of the component materials for applications in the biomedical area. (AU)

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