Injectable biodegradable thermosensitive hydrogel composite for orthopedic tissue engineering. 1. Preparation and characterization of nanohydroxyapatite/poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel nanocomposites.J Phys Chem B 2009; 113(52):16518-25JP
In this study, we synthesized a biodegradable triblock copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-PCL-PEG, PECE) by ring-opening copolymerization, and nanohydroxyapatite (n-HA) powder was prepared by a hydrothermal precipitation method. The obtained n-HA was incorporated into the PECE matrix to prepare injectable thermosensitive hydrogel nanocomposites. (1)H NMR, FT-IR, XRD, DSC, and TEM were used to investigate the properties of PECE copolymer and n-HA/PECE nanocomposites. The rheological measurements for n-HA/PECE nanocomposites revealed that the gelation temperature was approximately 36 degrees C. The sol-gel-sol transition behavior and phase transition diagrams were recorded through a test tube inverting method. The results showed that n-HA/PECE nanocomposites still had thermoresponsivity like that of PECE thermosensitive hydrogel. The morphology of the nanocomposites was observed by SEM; the results showed that the nanocomposites had a 3D network structure. In addition, the effects of n-HA contents on the properties of n-HA/PECE nanocomposites are also discussed in the paper. From the results, n-HA/PECE hydrogel is believed to be promising for injectable orthopedic tissue engineering due to its good thermosensitivity and injectability.