Resorbable nanocomposites with bone-like strength and enhanced cellular activity

S. Lu, M. A.P. McGough, B. R. Rogers, J. C. Wenke, D. Shimko, S. A. Guelcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Bone cements for treatment of fractures at weight-bearing sites are subjected to dynamic physiological loading from daily activities. An ideal bone cement rapidly sets after injection, exhibits bone-like strength, stimulates osteogenic differentiation of endogenous cells, and resorbs at a rate aligned with patient biology. However, currently available materials fall short of these targeted properties. Nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (nHA) enhances osteogenic differentiation, new bone formation, and osteoclast differentiation activity compared to amorphous or micron-scale crystalline hydroxyapatite. However, the brittle mechanical properties of nHA precludes its use in treatment of weight-bearing bone defects. In this study, we report settable nHA-poly(ester urethane) (PEUR) nanocomposites synthesized from nHA, lysine triisocyanate (LTI), and poly(caprolactone) triol via a solvent-free process. The nanocomposites are easily mixed and injected using a double-barrel syringe, exhibit mechanical properties exceeding those of conventional bone cements, enhance mineralization of osteoprogenitor cells in vitro, and undergo osteoclast-mediated degradation in vitro. This combination of properties cannot be achieved using other technologies, which underscores the potential of nHA-PEUR nanocomposites as a new approach for promoting bone healing at weight-bearing sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4198-4206
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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