Carbon Nanotube Coatings on Bioglass-Based Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

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Abstract

The coating of highly porous Bioglass® based 3D scaffolds with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) was investigated. Foam like Bioglass® scaffolds were fabricated by the replica technique and electrophoretic deposition was used to deposit homogeneous layers of CNT throughout the scaffold pore structure. The optimal experimental conditions were determined to be: applied voltage 15 V and deposition time 20 minutes, utilizing a concentrated aqueous suspension of CNT with addition of a surfactant and iodine. The scaffold pore structure remained invariant after the CNT coating, as assessed by SEM. The incorporation of CNTs induced a nanostructured internal surface of the pores which is thought to be beneficial for osteoblast cell attachment and proliferation. Bioactivity of the scaffolds was assessed by immersion studies in simulated body fluid (SBF) for periods of up to 2 weeks and the subsequent determination of hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. The presence of CNTs can enhance the bioactive behaviour of the scaffolds since CNTs can serve as template for the ordered formation of a nanostructured HA layers, which does not occur on uncoated Bioglass® surfaces.

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