Hydroxyapatite reinforced chitosan and polyester blends for biomedical applications

Vitor M. Correlo, Luciano F. Boesel, Mrinal Bhattacharya, Joao F. Mano, Nuno M. Neves, Ruis L. Reis

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62 Scopus citations


Hydroxyapatite, chitosan, and aliphatic polyester were compounded using a twin-screw extruder. The polyesters include poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly(lactic acid), poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), and poly(butylene terephthalate adipate). The mass fraction of chitosan ranged from 17.5 to 45%, while that of HA ranged from 10 to 30%. These blends were injection molded and evaluated for thermal, morphological, and mechanical properties. The addition of hydroxyapatite decreased the crystallinity in chitosan/PBS blends, while in blends containing chitosan/PCL, the crystallinity increased. Addition of hydroxyapatite significantly decreased the tensile strength and elongation of polyester/hydroxyapatite composites as well as chitosan/polyester/hydroxyapatite composites with elongations undergoing decreases over an order of magnitude. The tensile strength of the composite was dictated by the adhesion of HA to the chitosan/polyester matrix. The tensile strength of composites containing hydroxyapatite could be predicted using the Nicolai and Narkis equation for weak filler adhesion (K ≈ 1.21). Tensile-fractured and cryogenically-fractured surface indicates extensive debonding of hydroxyapatite crystals from the matrix, indicating weak adhesion. The adhesion of hydroxyapatite was higher for pure polyester than those containing chitosan and polyester. The modulus of the composites registered modest increase. The two main diffraction peaks observed using WAXS are unaffected by the amount of chitosan or hydroxyapatite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1165
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties
  • Polyesters
  • Processing
  • Thermal properties

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