Recent exciting findings of the biological interactions of graphene materials have shed light on potential biomedical applications of graphene-containing composites. Owing to the superior mechanical properties and low coefficient of thermal expansion, graphene has been widely used in the reinforcement of biocomposites. In the present study, various ratios of graphene (0.25 wt%, 0.5 wt% and 1.0 wt%) were reinforced into calcium silicate (CS) for bone graft application. Results show that the graphene was embedded in the composites homogeneously. Adding 1 wt% graphene into CS increased the young's modulus by ~ 47.1%. The formation of bone-like apatite on a range of composites with graphene weight percentages ranging from 0 to 1 has been investigated in simulated body fluid. The presence of a bone-like apatite layer on the composites surface after immersion in simulated body fluid was considered by scanning electron microscopy. In vitro cytocompatibility of the graphene-contained CS composites was evaluated using human marrow stem cells (hMSCs). The proliferation and alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin and osteocalcin osteogenesis-related protein expression of the hMSCs on the 1 wt% graphene-contained specimens showed better results than on the pure CS. In addition, the angiogenesis-related protein (vWF and ang-1) secretion of cells was significantly stimulated when the graphene concentration in the composites was increased. These results suggest that graphene-contained CS bone graft are promising materials for bone tissue engineering applications.
Materials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications