Evaluation of hot-pressed hydroxyapatite/poly-L-lactide composite biomaterial characteristics



Hydroxyapatite/poly-L-lactide (HAp/PLLA) is a ceramic/polymer composite, whose application as a resorbable biomaterial for the substitution and repair of hard bone tissue is widely promising in orthopedic, oral, maxillofacial, and reconstructive surgery. Hot processing is a necessary step for obtaining HAp/PLLA composite blocks with mechanical properties similar to those of bones. In this article, the changes in structure and physicochemical properties of HAp/PLLA composite, hot pressed for different pressing times (5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min), were studied. Because the morphology of HAp/PLLA composite biomaterial is very sensitive to this procedure, its surface microstructure was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector system. Structural changes occurring in the material, mostly changes in crystallinity of PLLA, were studied by wide-angle X-ray structural analyses (WAXS) and infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and gel permeation chromatography (GPC), the influence of hot pressing on the properties, crystallization kinetics, and decomposition of HAp/PLLA composite biomaterial was analyzed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 71B: 284–294, 2004