Development of porous materials consisting of polymer host matrix enriched with bioactive ceramic particles that can initiate the reproduction of cellular organisms while maintaining in vivo mechanical reliability is a long-standing challenge for synthetic bone substitutes. We present hydroxyapatite (HA) reinforced aromatic thermosetting copolyester (ATSP) matrix bionanocomposite as a potential reconfigurable bone replacement material. The nanocomposite is fabricated by solid-state mixing a matching set of precursor oligomers with biocompatible pristine HA particles. During endothermic condensation polymerization reaction, the constituent oligomers form a mechanochemically robust crosslinked aromatic backbone while incorporating the HAs into a self-generated cellular structure. The morphological analysis demonstrates near-homogenous distributions of the pristine HAs within the matrix. The HAs behave as a crack-arrester which promotes a more deformation-tolerant formation with relatively enhanced material toughness. Chain relaxation dynamics of the nanocomposite matrix during glass transition is modified via HA-induced segmental immobilization. Chemical characterization of the polymer backbone composition reveals the presence of a hydrogen-advanced covalent interfacial coupling mechanism between the HAs and ATSP matrix. This report lays the groundwork for further studies on aromatic thermosetting copolyester matrix bionanocomposites which may find applications in various artificial bone needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas