Improving the mechanical behavior of reduced graphene oxide/hydroxyapatite nanocomposites using gas injection into powders synthesis autoclave

Sci Rep. 2020 May 22;10(1):8552. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-64928-y.


In this study, we show the synthesis of reduced graphene oxide/hydroxyapatite (rGO/HA) composites using a hydrothermal autoclave with argon-15% hydrogen gas injection. This both increases the hydrothermal pressure and uses hydrogen as a reductive agent in the process. The synthesized powders were then consolidated with spark plasma sintering method. The analysis of the consolidated samples included Vickers Indentation technique and cell viability. The results showed that injected gases in the autoclave produced powders with a higher crystallinity compared to synthesis without the gases. Also, hydrogen gas led to increased reduction of GO. The microscopic analysis confirmed existing graphene sheets with folding and wrinkling in the powders and indicated that various preferential directions played a role in the growth of hydroxyapatite crystals. The results showed that in general, graphene sheets increased the mechanical properties of HA. In the samples synthesized with injected gases, this increase was more significant. Interface analysis results indicate that reduced graphene oxide (rGO)/HA interface is likely coherent. These nanocomposites were biocompatible and showed some hydrophobicity compared to pure HA.