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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (1) : 1-13
Nanocomposite materials in orthopedic applications
Mostafa R. Shirdar1, Nasim Farajpour2, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar3, Tolou Shokuhfar1,4()
1. Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
2. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
3. Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
4. Department of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
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This chapter is an introduction to nanocomposite materials and its classifications with emphasis on orthopedic application. It covers different types of matrix nanocomposites including ceramics, metal, polymer and natural-based nanocomposites with the main features and applications in the orthopedic. In addition, it presents structure, composition, and biomechanical features of bone as a natural nanocomposite. Finally, it deliberately presents developing methods for nanocomposites bone grafting.

Keywords nanocomposite materials      orthopedic applications      bone grafting nanocomposites      nanocomposites classification     
Corresponding Author(s): Tolou Shokuhfar   
Just Accepted Date: 10 July 2018   Online First Date: 22 January 2019    Issue Date: 25 February 2019
 Cite this article:   
Mostafa R. Shirdar,Nasim Farajpour,Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, et al. Nanocomposite materials in orthopedic applications[J]. Front. Chem. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(1): 1-13.
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Mostafa R. Shirdar
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Reza Shahbazian-Yassar
Tolou Shokuhfar
Fig.1  Field emission scanning electron microscopes images of (a) Pure HA and (b) HA-TiO2 nanocomposite coated layer on Co-Cr-based alloy [37]
Fig.2  (a) Schematic illustration of Mg/HA/TiO2 nanocomposite, and (b,c) FESEM micrographs of MgO coated Mg/HA/TiO2 nanocomposite (adapted and re-drawn from [45])
Fig.3  Schematic illustration of higher degree of interaction of osteoblast with PVA/TiO2 hybrid nanocomposite surface compared to the pure PVA film [54]
Fig.4  SEM micrographs showing fractured surface of PP-hBN-nHA nanocomposite at (a) low and (b) high magnifications. Black arrow: hBN; white arrow: nHA [57]
Organic phase wt-% Inorganic phase wt-%
Collagen 20 Hydroxyapatite 60
Water 9 Carbonate 4
Non-collagenous proteins 3 Citrate 0.9
Other traces: polysaccharides, lipids, cytokines Sodium 0.7
Primary bone cells: osteoblasts, osteocytes, osteoclasts Magnesium 0.5
Other traces: Cl?, F?, K+ Sr2+, Pb2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Fe2+
Tab.1  The composition of bone [6]
Fig.5  Hierarchical structural organization of the natural bone (adapted and re-drawn from [73])
Properties Measurement
Cortical bone Cancellous bone
Compressive strength /MPa 170–193 7–10
Young’s modulus /GPa 14–20 0.05–0.5
Tensile strength /MPa 50–150 10–20
Fracture toughness /(MPa?m1/2) 2–12 0.1
Strain to failure 1–3 5–7
Surface/bone volume /(mm2?mm?3) 2.5 20
Density /(g?cm?3) 18–22 0.1–1.0
Apparent density /(g?cm?3) 1.8–2.0 0.1–1.0
Total bone volume /mm3 1.4 × 106 0.35 × 106
Total internal surface 3.5 × 106 7.0 × 106
Tab.2  Biomechanical properties of bone [6]
Materials Examples Refs.
Polymers?Natural Protein: Collagen, fibrin, gelatin, silk fibroin
Polysaccharides: Hyaluronic acid, chondroitin
sulphate, cellulose, starch, alginate, agarose,
chitosan, pullulan, dextran
?Synthetic Poly-glycolic acid (PGA)
Poly-lactic acid (PLA)
Poly-(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)
Poly-(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)
Poly-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (poly-HEMA)
Ceramics?Calcium phosphate Coralline or synthetic HA
Silicate-substituted HA
Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate
?Bioglass and glass ceramics Silicate bioactive glasses
(45S5, 13-93)
Borate/borosilicate bioactive glasses
(13-93B2, 13-93B3, Pyrex®)
Metals Titanium and its alloys
Stainless steel
Magnesium and its alloys
Composites Calcium-phosphate coatings on metals
Nanocomposites Nano-HA/collagen,
Tab.3  Bone grafting materials used for bone repair and regeneration
Fig.6  Schematic illustration of dip coating process of Co-Cr alloy with HA-TiO2 nanocomposite
Fig.7  Design strategy of tissue-engineered nanocomposite bone graft (adapted and re-drawn from [6])
Fig.8  Schematic illustration for a self-assembly of HA/collagen nanocomposite graft. Adapted and re-drawn from [6]
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