Preparation and properties of poly(L-lactide)/hydroxyapatite composites

Kesenci K., Fambri L., Migliaresi C., Piskin E.

JOURNAL OF BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE-POLYMER EDITION, vol.11, no.6, pp.617-632, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


In this study, two different viscosity-average molecular weight (eta = 4.0 and 7.8) poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization and the poly(L-lactide)/hydroxyapatite composites (PLLA/HA) were prepared by blending HA particles (size range: 25-45 mu m and Ca/P = 1.69) with 3 content of 10, 30, and 50 wt% in PLLA solution with further evaporation of the solvent. The plain PLLA polymers and PLLA/HA composites were compression-molded and machined to yield 25 x 3 x 2 mm(3) specimens. The molar mass of resulting specimens was decreased drastically due to the hydrolytic and thermal degradation of eater bonds. Scanning electron microscopy and thermal gravimetric results indicated that the compositions of HA in PLLA were well dispersed. With increasing HA content, the crystallinity of PLLA/HA composites are slightly increased due to the effect of HA as a nucleating agent. The dynamic mechanical analysis is useful in studying the viscoelastic behaviour of the PLLA/HA composites and no secondary relaxation was observed below the glass-to-rubber transition (60 degrees C). The mechanical properties of the PLLA/HA composites were found to vary with HA content. Increased levels of HA resulted in increased bending modulus and strength.