Processing and bioactivity of 45S5 Bioglass®-graphene nanoplatelets composites
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Well dispersed 45S5 Bioglass® (BG)-graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) composites were prepared after optimising the processing conditions. Fully dense BG nanocomposites with GNP loading of 1, 3 and 5 vol% were consolidated using Spark plasma sintering (SPS). SPS avoided any structural damage of GNP as confirmed using Raman spectroscopy. GNP increased the viscosity of BG-GNP composites resulting in an increase in the sintering temperature by ~50 °C compared to pure BG. Electrical conductivity of BG-GNP composites increased with increasing concentration of GNP. The highest conductivity of 13 S/m was observed for BG-GNP (5 vol%) composite which is ~9 orders of magnitude higher compared to pure BG. For both BG and BG-GNP composites, in vitro bioactivity testing was done using simulated body fluid for 1 and 3 days. XRD confirmed the formation of hydroxyapatite for BG and BG-GNP composites with cauliflower structures forming on top of the nano-composites surface. GNP increased the electrical conductivity of BG-GNP composites without affecting the bioactivity thus opening the possibility to fabricate bioactive and electrically conductive scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
KeywordsSimulated Body Fluid Spark Plasma Sinter Bone Tissue Engineering Powder Processing Colloidal Processing
The authors would like to thank European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency http://ec.europa.eu/research/rea (Marie Curie Action, GlaCERCo GA 264526) for their support and funding for this research. We are also grateful to Dr. Mahesh Kumar Mani (Cardiff University, UK) and Mr Rama Krishna Chinnam (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany) for helping with some experiments.
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