Biocompatible and mechanically robust nanocomposite hydrogels for potential applications in tissue engineering

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2018 Mar 1;84:168-179. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2017.11.018. Epub 2017 Nov 24.


The synergistic contributions of nanofillers and polymer matrix induce remarkable properties in nanocomposite hydrogels. Present article reports the facile synthesis of biocompatible nanocomposite hydrogels using microporous multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) dispersed chitosan (CH)-Acrylonitrile (AN), N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (MBAAm) and linseed polyol through solution blending method. Polyol and N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (MBAAm) was used as the crosslinking agent. The structural characterization and formation of highly crosslinked network with dendrimer morphology was confirmed by FT-IR and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis. In addition, transmission electron microscope (TEM) was employed to visualize the size and proper dispersion of MWCNT in the polymer matrices. The strong mechanical strength exhibited by these hydrogel films was confirmed by the tensile strength analysis. The dispersion of the conductive nanofillers, like MWCNTs has significantly enhanced the strength, which revealed unique characteristics of these hydrogel films. The high swelling capacity and sustained expansion of hydrogel films were confirmed in the buffer solutions of pH4 and 7.4. The biodegradability of these films was estimated by hydrolytic and soil burial tests. The biocompatibility test was conducted on Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK-293) cell line, which confirmed the non-toxic and biocompatible nature of these films. Incorporation of carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in the polymer matrix enhanced the film forming properties, high modulus and tensile strength, swelling ability, biodegradable and biocompatibility. These properties can be finely tuned through the variation of MWCNT concentrations, as a result these nanostructure hydrogel films have potential scope for their diverse applications in the field of tissue engineering.

Keywords: Biocompatibility; Biodegradability; Chitosan; MWCNTs; Nanocomposite hydrogels.

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Elastic Modulus
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Hydrogels / pharmacology
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanocomposites / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Tensile Strength
  • Tissue Engineering*
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Polymers
  • polyol
  • Chitosan