, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 38-45
Date: 25 Mar 2008

Hydroxyapatite-reinforced polymer biocomposites for synthetic bone substitutes

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Hydroxyapatite (HA)-reinforced polymer biocomposites offer a robust system to engineer synthetic bone substitutes with tailored mechanical, biological, and surgical functions. The basic design rationale has been to reinforce a tough, biocompatible polymer matrix with a bioactive HA filler. A large number of studies have investigated modifications to the biocomposite structure and composition, aimed at improving the mechanical properties, often through modified or novel processing methods. In this article, the effects of the polymer composition and molecular orientation; the HA/polymer interface; and the HA-reinforcement content, morphology, preferred orientation, and size are reviewed with respect to mechanical properties, drawing frequent comparisons between various HA-reinforced polymer composites and bone tissue.