A comparative study of the mechanical, shape-memory, and degradation properties of poly(lactic acid) nanofiber and cellulose nanocrystal reinforced poly(mannitol sebacate) nanocomposites

Nanocomposites based on a poly(mannitol sebacate) (PMS) matrix – a member of the poly(polyol sebacate) (PPS) polyester family – reinforced either with cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) or electrospun poly(lactic acid) nanofibers (NF-PLA) have been developed in order to evaluate the reinforcing filler morphology for achieving useful adaptive materials with shape-memory functionality. All the as-prepared nanocomposites have better mechanical properties than the neat PMS matrices, allowing for a wider range of mechanical and degradation properties. However, a superior balance of properties was observed after the introduction of PLA electrospun nanofibers into the low-modulus PMS matrix. In particular, enhanced shape-memory properties are imparted to the PMS matrix by using PLA nanofibers as reinforcing filler, specifically in a temperature range (15–45 °C) of interest for possible medical applications. In addition, two well-separated thermal glass transitions due to matrices and PLA nanofibers could enable the future design of triple-shape-memory systems. Mechanical properties are markedly enhanced with a 4-fold increase when 4 wt% of PLA nanofibers are infiltrated. On increasing the filler content to 10 and 15 wt%, 20-fold and 53-fold enhancements in the Young's modulus were achieved, respectively. These better mechanical properties are accompanied by higher toughness than the neat matrix without reducing the elongation at break. In addition, the shape stability during degradation and the obtained mass loss rates imply that these nanocomposites are useful materials for long-term implants. Here we introduce a sequence of materials based on different fillers that offers great design flexibility, as depending on the geometry and amount of filler employed the properties of the obtained composites can be adjusted to those of living soft to hard tissues, being useful to configure biomedical devices with specific properties, such as for the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease.

Fecha Publicación: 19/04/2017

Autor: Menes-Corrales, Olivia (AIMPLAS) ; Águeda Sonseca ; Enrique Giménez

Referencia: RSC Adv., 2017,7, 21869-21882


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