Poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)/multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composite: Characterization and biocompatibility evaluation

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Much effort has been directed at the fabrication of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/polymer composites and the characterization of their physical properties. Among them, composites comprising CNTs and the biocompatible polymers are of special interest due to their potential for specific biomedical applications. We report the preparation of the MWCNT/poly(L-lactide) composite and the corresponding spectroscopic (Raman) and the microscopic (SEM, TEM) characterization. The electronic transport, thermal properties, and biocompatibility of this composite have also been investigated. The Raman spectroscopic analysis suggests the interaction between PLLA and MWCNT occurs mainly through the hydrophobic C-CH3 functional groups. The DC conductivity of the composite increases as the MWCNT loading is increased. Such behavior can be described by a percolation mechanism in which a percolation threshold at about 14 wt% MWCNT loading is observed with the maximum end conductivity of 0.1 S·cm-1. The DSC study of the PLLA/MWCNT composite reveals that the MWCNTs in the composite have the effect of inducing crystallization and plasticizing the polymer matrix. The results from the cell culture test suggest that the presence of MWCNT in the composite inhibits the growth of the fibroblast cells. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

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Journal of Physical Chemistry B

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