Poly(L-lactic acid) Reinforced with Hydroxyapatite and Tungsten Disulfide Nanotubes
Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biocompatible, biodegradable, and semi-crystalline polymer with numerous applications including food packaging, medical implants, stents, tissue engineering scaffolds, etc. Hydroxyapatite (HA) is the major component of natural bone. Conceptually, combining PLLA and HA could produce a bioceramic suitable for implants and bone repair. However, this nanocomposite suffers from poor mechanical behavior under tensile strain. In this study, films of PLLA and HA were prepared with small amounts of nontoxic WS2 nanotubes (INT-WS2). The structural aspects of the films were investigated via electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman microscopy, and infrared absorption spectroscopy. The mechanical properties were evaluated via tensile measurements, micro-hardness tests, and nanoindentation. The thermal properties were investigated via differential scanning calorimetry. The composite films exhibited improved mechanical and thermal properties compared to the films prepared from the PLLA and HA alone, which is advantageous for medical applications.