Mussel-inspired functionalization of carbon nanotubes for hydroxyapatite mineralization

Minah Lee, Sook Hee Ku, Jungki Ryu, Chan Beum Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Hydroxyapatite (HAp)/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) hybrid composite materials are successfully synthesized via a biomineralization process that employs poly(dopamine) (PDA), a synthetic mimic of mussel adhesive proteins. Creating bio-inorganic composites for regenerative medicine requires appropriate fillers to enhance their mechanical robustness; for example, natural bones are composed mainly of HAp supported by collagen fibers. In this regard, many efforts have been made to harness HAp as a bone substitute through its integration with reinforcing fibrous materials such as CNTs. We found that the formation of a PDA ad-layer on the surface of CNTs changed the hydrophobic CNTs to become bioactive. This enabled efficient interaction between the CNTs and mineral ions (e.g., Ca2+), which facilitated the mineralization of HAp. CNTs functionalized with PDA (CNT-PDA) highly accelerated the formation of HAp when incubated in a simulated body fluid and exhibited a minimal cytotoxic effect on bone osteoblast cells compared to pristine or carboxylated CNTs. Our results show the potential of CNT-PDA as a scaffold material for bone tissue regeneration and implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8848-8853
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 28 2010


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