Effects of sterilisation by high-energy radiation on biomedical poly-(ε-caprolactone)/hydroxyapatite composites

Di Foggia, Michele; Corda, Ugo; Plescia, Elena; Taddei, Paola; Torreggiani, Armida
June 2010
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine;Jun2010, Vol. 21 Issue 6, p1789
Academic Journal
The effects of a high energy sterilization treatment on poly-ε-caprolactone/carbonated hydroxyapatite composites have been investigated. Poly-ε-caprolactone is a biodegradable polymer used as long-term bioresorbable scaffold for bone tissue engineering and carbonated hydroxyapatite is a bioactive material able to promote bone growth. The composites were gamma-irradiated in air or under nitrogen atmosphere with doses ranging from 10 to 50 kGy (i.e. to a value higher than that recommended for sterilization). The effects of the irradiation treatment were evaluated by vibrational spectroscopy (IR and Raman spectroscopies) coupled to thermal analysis (Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Thermogravimetry) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy. Irradiation with the doses required for sterilization induced acceptable structural changes and damaging effects: only a very slight fragmentation of the polymeric chains and some defects in the inorganic component were observed. Moreover, the radiation sensitivity of the composites proved almost the same under the two different atmospheres.


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