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Issue 17, 2015
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Graphene and hydroxyapatite self-assemble into homogeneous, free standing nanocomposite hydrogels for bone tissue engineering

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Abstract

Graphene-nanoparticle (NP) composites have shown potential in applications ranging from batteries to, more recently, tissue engineering. Graphene and NPs should be integrated into uniform free-standing structures for best results. However, to date, this has been achieved only in few examples; in most cases, graphene/NP powders lacking three-dimensional (3D) structure were produced. Here we report a facile and universal method that can be used to synthesize such structures based on colloidal chemistry. We start from aqueous suspensions of both graphene oxide nanosheets and citrate-stabilized hydroxyapatite (HA) NPs. Hydrothermal treatment of the mixtures of both suspensions reduces graphene oxide to graphene, and entraps colloidal HA NPs into the 3D graphene network thanks to a self-assembled graphite-like shell formed around it. Dialysis through this shell causes uniform NP deposition onto the graphene walls. The resulting graphene-HA gels are highly porous, strong, electrically conductive and biocompatible, making them promising scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. This method can be applied to produce a variety of free-standing 3D graphene-based nanocomposites with unprecedented homogeneity.

Graphical abstract: Graphene and hydroxyapatite self-assemble into homogeneous, free standing nanocomposite hydrogels for bone tissue engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Feb 2015, accepted on 30 Mar 2015 and first published on 01 Apr 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5NR01107H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2015,7, 7992-8002
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    Graphene and hydroxyapatite self-assemble into homogeneous, free standing nanocomposite hydrogels for bone tissue engineering

    X. Xie, K. Hu, D. Fang, L. Shang, S. D. Tran and M. Cerruti, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 7992
    DOI: 10.1039/C5NR01107H

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