Carbon nanotube reinforced alginate hydrogel.
Lim, Koon Thye.
Date of Issue2009
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Hydrogel has been widely used in tissue engineering application due to its biocompatibility and its extra-cellular matrix (ECM) resemblance structure. However, due to its poor mechanical strength property, tissues engineered using hydrogel as polymeric scaffold usually have lower mechanical strength compared to real tissues [1,2]. In order to overcome this problem, a higher mechanical strength hydrogel must be present. The purpose of this project is to study the effect of single walled carbon nanotube on mechanical strength enhancement of hydrogel. In this study, composite polymeric scaffolds from calcium alginate hydrogel and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were made using the calcium carbonate/D-glucono-δ-lactone approach . This approach is used because structurally uniform gels can be achieved. Mechanical properties are more consistent throughout the gels if the gels are structurally uniform. The scaffolds made were tested for their mechanical strength (compressive strength test) properties using the Instron 5543. The results showed that alginate hydrogel with higher SWCNTs content (from 0.5 wt% SWCNTs to 2.5 wt% SWCNTs) has mechanical strength (as determined from Young’s Modulus) that is up to 4 fold higher than pure alginate. The result is promising as it suggests that SWCNTs is a good nanomaterial to be used to produce hydrogel with specific and reproducible mechanical property in a controllable manner. Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the hydrogels. The Raman spectroscopy showed the successful incorporation of SWCNTs into the alginate gel. Distributions of SWCNTs diameter in the alginate gels are in the range from 0.93nm to 0.97 nm. These values were calculated using the Raman Shift correlation with SWCNTs diameter. Many studies have shown that cells can grow and proliferate in SWCNTs environment; however, further study has to be conducted to find out the optimum SWCNTs concentration that will cause toxicity to cells proliferation and growth.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University