A biocomposite of collagen nanofibers and nanohydroxyapatite for bone regeneration

Nilza Ribeiro*, Susana R. Sousa, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Lorenzo Moroni, Fernando J. Monteiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This work aims to design a synthetic construct that mimics the natural bone extracellular matrix through innovative approaches based on simultaneous type I collagen electrospinning and nanophased hydroxyapatite (nanoHA) electrospraying using non-denaturating conditions and non-toxic reagents. The morphological results, assessed using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM), showed a mesh of collagen nanofibers embedded with crystals of HA with fiber diameters within the nanometer range (30 nm), thus significantly lower than those reported in the literature, over 200 nm. The mechanical properties, assessed by nanoindentation using AFM, exhibited elastic moduli between 0.3 and 2 GPa. Fourier transformed infrared spectrometry confirmed the collagenous integrity as well as the presence of nanoHA in the composite. The network architecture allows cell access to both collagen nanofibers and HA crystals as in the natural bone environment. The inclusion of nanoHA agglomerates by electrospraying in type I collagen nanofibers improved the adhesion and metabolic activity of MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. This new nanostructured collagen-nanoHA composite holds great potential for healing bone defects or as a functional membrane for guided bone tissue regeneration and in treating bone diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • biocomposite
  • collagen nanofibers
  • nanohydroxyapatite
  • electrospinning
  • electrospraying

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