Pure titanium particle loaded nanocomposites: study on the polymer/filler interface and hMSC biocompatibility

  • Roberto Avolio
  • Marietta D’Albore
  • Vincenzo Guarino
  • Gennaro Gentile
  • Maria Cristina Cocca
  • Stefania Zeppetelli
  • Maria Emanuela Errico
  • Maurizio Avella
  • Luigi Ambrosio
Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


The integration of inorganic nanoparticles into polymer matrices allows for the modification of physical properties as well as the implementation of new features for unexplored application fields. Here, we propose the study of a new metal/polymer nanocomposite fabricated by dispersing pure Ti nanoparticles into a poly(methylmetacrilate) matrix via solvent casting process, to investigate its potential use as new biomaterial for biomedical applications. We demonstrated that Ti nanoparticles embedded in the poly(methylmetacrilate) matrix can act as reinforcing agent, not negatively influencing the biological response of human mesenchymal stem cell in terms of cytotoxicity and cell viability. As a function of relative amount and surface treatment, Ti nanoparticles may enhance mechanical strength of the composite—ranging from 31.1 ± 2.5 to 43.7 ± 0.7 MPa—also contributing to biological response in terms of adhesion and proliferation mechanisms. In particular, for 1 wt% Ti, treated Ti nanoparticles improve cell materials recognition, as confirmed by higher cell spreading-quantified in terms of cell area via image analysis—locally promoting stronger interactions at cell matrix interface. At this stage, these preliminary results suggest a promising use of pure Ti nanoparticles as filler in polymer composites for biomedical applications.



This study was financially supported by BEYOND NANO(PON03 0362). Electron Microscopy was supported by the Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy Labs (LAMEST) of the National Research Council. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Avolio
    • 1
  • Marietta D’Albore
    • 2
  • Vincenzo Guarino
    • 2
  • Gennaro Gentile
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Cocca
    • 1
  • Stefania Zeppetelli
    • 2
  • Maria Emanuela Errico
    • 1
  • Maurizio Avella
    • 1
  • Luigi Ambrosio
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of ItalyPozzuoliItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of ItalyNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Sciences & Materials TechnologyNational Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly

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