Thermoresponsive Brushes Facilitate Effective Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cements

Daniela Geta Petre, Robin Nadar, Yingfeng Tu, Ali Paknahad, Daniela A. Wilson, Sander C.G. Leeuwenburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Calcium phosphate ceramics are frequently applied to stimulate regeneration of bone in view of their excellent biological compatibility with bone tissue. Unfortunately, these bioceramics are also highly brittle. To improve their toughness, fibers can be incorporated as the reinforcing component for the calcium phosphate cements. Herein, we functionalize the surface of poly(vinyl alcohol) fibers with thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes of tunable thickness to improve simultaneously fiber dispersion and fiber-matrix affinity. These brushes shift from hydrophilic to hydrophobic behavior at temperatures above their lower critical solution temperature of 32 °C. This dual thermoresponsive shift favors fiber dispersion throughout the hydrophilic calcium phosphate cements (at 21 °C) and toughens these cements when reaching their hydrophobic state (at 37 °C). The reinforcement efficacy of these surface-modified fibers was almost double at 37 versus 21 °C, which confirms the strong potential of thermoresponsive fibers for reinforcement of calcium phosphate cements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26690-26703
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • calcium phosphate cements
  • interface
  • poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
  • poly(vinyl alcohol) fibers
  • reinforcement

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