Biomedical applications of graphene have recently attracted intensive attention, with graphene-based nanomaterials being reported as promising candidates in, for example, drug delivery, biosensing and bioimaging. In this paper, mechanical properties and bioactivity of nanofibrous and porous membranes electrospun from graphene oxide (GO) nanoplatelets reinforced poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were investigated. The results showed that the presence of 0.3 wt% GO increased the tensile strength, modulus and energy at break of the PCL membrane by 95%, 66% and 416%, respectively, while improving its bioactivity during biomineralization and maintaining the high porosity of over 94%. The mechanical enhancements were ascribed to the change in the fiber morphology and the reinforcing effect of GO on PCL nanofibers, whereas the improvements on the bioactivity stemmed from the anionic functional groups present on the GO surface that nucleated the formation of biominerals. Systematic studies on the PCL/GO nanocomposite films with varying GO concentrations revealed that the reinforcing effect of GO on PCL was due to the strong interfacial interactions between the two phases characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, the good dispersion of GO in the matrix and the intrinsic properties of GO nanoplatelets. The strong and bioactive PCL/GO nanofibrous membranes with a high porosity have great potential for biomedical applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering