Preparation of PVA nanocomposites using salep-reduced graphene oxide with enhanced mechanical and biological properties
Salep, known as a biodegradable polysaccharide, is hydrolyzed and used as both a reducing agent and stabilizer for graphene oxide (GO). The functionalized reduced graphene oxide (f-rGO) is homogenously dispersed in an aqueous solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). PVA based hydrogel and film nanocomposites are prepared and proposed as new biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. The mechanical properties of the film nanocomposites are investigated with varying content of f-rGO, glycerol and citric acid as a reinforcing agent, a plasticizer agent and a cross linking agent respectively. For the first time, chemically cross linked PVA hydrogels are synthesized using N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) and ammonium persulfate (APS) without using hazardous monomers. Water absorbency and mechanical properties of the prepared samples have been enhanced considerably in comparison with the previous reports on PVA hydrogels. Chemical and physical characterization of the nanocomposites are carried out using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM and field emission-SEM), and tensile and compression mechanical tests. Cell cultures on both of the film and hydrogel samples indicate that the synthesized nanocomposites have good biocompatibility and can be used as promising biomaterials with the desired mechanical properties.