Bioactive organic–inorganic poly(CLMA-co-HEA)/silica nanocomposites
AbstractA series of novel poly(CLMA-co-HEA)/silica nanocomposites is synthesized from caprolactone 2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl ester (CLMA) and 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA) as organic comonomers and the simultaneous sol-gel polymerization of tetraethyloxysilane (TEOS) as silica precursor, in different mass ratios up to a 30 wt% of silica. The nanocomposites are characterized as to their mechanical and thermal properties, water sorption, bioactivity and biocompatibility, reflecting the effect on the organic matrix provided by the silica network formation. The nanocomposites nucleate the growth of hydroxyapatite (HAp) on their surfaces when immersed in the simulated body fluid of the composition used in this work. Proliferation of the MC3T3 osteoblast-like cells on the materials was assessed with the MTS assay showing their biocompatibility. Immunocytochemistry reveals osteocalcin and type I collagen production, indicating that osteoblast differentiation was promoted by the materials, and calcium deposition was confirmed by von Kossa staining. The results indicate that these poly(CLMA-co-HEA)/silica nanocomposites could be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.