Acid character control of bioactive glass/polyvinyl alcohol hybrid foams produced by sol–gel
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Bioactive glass/polymer hybrids are promising materials for biomedical applications because they combine the bioactivity of bioceramics with the flexibility of polymers. In previous work hybrid foams with 80% bioactive glass and 20% polyvinyl alcohol were prepared by the sol–gel method. The produced hybrids presented a high acidic character due to the catalysts added. In this work different methods to control the acidity and toxicity of the hybrids were also evaluated, through changes in the synthesis pH and use of different neutralization solutions. The hybrids were prepared with inorganic phase composition of 70%SiO2–30%CaO and PVA fractions of 20–60% by the sol–gel method. The characterization of the obtained foams was done by FTIR, SEM, Raman Spectroscopy, Helium Picnometry and TGA. The immersion of hybrids in a calcium acetate solution was the most adequate neutralization method. The foams presented porosity of 60–85% and pore diameters of 100–500 μm with interconnected structure.