Avaliação do comportamento mecânico de nanocompósito de PEEK/nHA sob curta e longa duração para aplicação como biomaterial
Rego, Bruna Turino
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The main objectives of this dissertation were to study the short (tensile and impact) and long-term (fatigue) mechanical behavior of nanocomposites of poly(ether-ether-ketone), PEEK, with nanohydroxyapatite, nHA, for application as biocompatible materials. First of all, a preliminary study was conducted to determine the influence of the addition of nHA in the rheological, thermal and dynamic mechanical properties of PEEK, in order to choose an optimal formulation for large-scale preparation. The chosen composition with 10wt% of nHA was prepared by melt mixing in a co-rotating twin screw extruder. The resulting structure and dispersion were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and rheological properties. Subsequently, the materials (PEEK and PEEK/nHA nanocomposite) were injection molded at 3 different conditions by varying the flow rate. The resulting morphologies were evaluated by polarized light optical microscopy (PLOM) and the degree of crystallinity of the samples was evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The mechanical properties of tensile, impact and fatigue of PEEK and nanocomposite were measured and correlated with the results of dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and the resulting morphology. It was found that the variation of the injection conditions did not change the materials properties significantly; however, the obtained long and short-term mechanical properties of the nanocomposite were within the range of cortical bone properties and, therefore, the nanocomposite can mechanically be used for medium load bearing implant applications, due to their limited modulus. Finally, tests with adult stem cells to determine in vitro biological response of the biomaterial were performed, which indicated that these cells proliferated faster in PEEK/nHA, indicating that the biological response is most favorable to the nanocomposite than to pure PEEK.