A potential material for tissue engineering: silkworm silk/PLA biocomposite

Cheung, Hoi-Yan and Lau, Kin-tak and Tao, Xiao-Ming and Hui, David (2008) A potential material for tissue engineering: silkworm silk/PLA biocomposite. Composites Part B: Engineering, 39 (6). pp. 1026-1033. ISSN 1359-8368


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA), a kind of well recognized biodegradable polymer, was reinforced by silkworm silk fibers to form a completely biodegradable and biocompatible biocomposite for tissue engineering applications. The influence on the mechanical and thermal properties of the biocomposite in relation to the length and weight content of silk fibers is studied in this paper. Through the micro-hardness test, optimized fiber length and weight content of silk fibers used to make a better strength silk fiber/PLA biocomposite was determined. Tensile property test and thermal analyses including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) for the silk fiber/PLA biocomposite with specified fiber length and weight content were then conducted to investigate its property changes in comparison to a pristine PLA sample. Experimentally, it was found that the fiber length and weight content of silk fibers are key parameters that would substantially influence the hardness of the biocomposite samples. For microscopic observations, good wettability of the fibers inside the biocomposite was seen. The surface of the fibers was well bonded with the matrix, as observed by a SEM image of fractured sample. As a result, it was found that the use of silk fibers can be a good candidate, as reinforcements for the development of polymeric scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2012 09:59
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2014 07:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: bio composites; differential scanning calorimetry (photo-DSC); dynamic mechanical analysis (DMTA); fibre lengths; key parameters; mechanical and thermal properties; micro-hardness; microscopic observations; poly(d ,1-lactic acid) (PLA); polymeric scaffolds; potential materials; SEM imaging; silk fibres; strength (IGC: D5/D6); tissue engineering applications; weight content
Fields of Research : 10 Technology > 1004 Medical Biotechnology > 100404 Regenerative Medicine (incl. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering)
09 Engineering > 0903 Biomedical Engineering > 090301 Biomaterials
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091209 Polymers and Plastics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2007.11.009
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18945

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