ABSTRACT: Poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)/single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) nanocomposite films were produced using the solvent casting method, and morphological, thermal and mechanical properties were investigated. Biocompatibility was evaluated by using human bone cells, performing adhesion and proliferation studies. The role of single-walled nanotube incorporation and functionalization on PLLA bio-polymers was investigated. Pristine (SWNTs) and carboxylated (SWNTs-COOH) carbon nanotubes were considered in order to control the interaction between PLLA and nanotubes. SWNTs and SWNTs-COOH showed a good dispersion in the polymer matrix and improved the PLLA crystallinity. Thermal, morphological and dynamic-mechanical analyses revealed that carboxylic groups on the tube sidewalls increased compatibility between PLLA and nanostructures. Mechanical properties demonstrated an enhancement related to introduction and functionalization of carbon nanotubes. Biological investigations showed osteoblasts cultured on PLLA/SWNTs-COOH nanocomposites has higher cell adhesion and proliferation than osteoblasts cultured on PLLA and PLLA/SWNTs nanocomposites. These studies suggest that combination of biodegradable polymers and SWNTs opens a new perspective in the self-assembly of nanomaterials and nanodevices for biomedical applications with tunable properties.
Journal of Biomaterials Science Polymer Edition 01/2011; 22(4-6):541-56. · 1.69 Impact Factor