Processing conditions deeply affect the mechanical, chemical and biological properties of elastomeric based nanocomposites. In this work, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were dispersed in poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) prepolymer, followed by curing under vacuum at 120 °C. It was observed an increase of the water contact angle with the amount of MWCNTs added, as well as the tensile strength and Young modulus, without compromising the elastomeric behaviour of the pristine PGS matrix. The cross-linking degree was determined by the Flory-Rehner swelling method and through the mechanical rubber elasticity model, and an increase of more than six-fold was observed, which demonstrates the chemical conjugation between the MWCNTs and the PGS polymer chains, resulting in stiff and elastomeric nanocomposites. Finally, in vitro cell culture of adult mouse hypothalamus neurons A59 cells showed good support for cell viability and stimulation for axons and dendrites growth. The unique features of these nanocomposites make them promise for biomedical applications, as soft tissue substrates with tailored mechanical properties.
Available for download on Saturday, March 07, 2020