Title

3D printing of highly flexible, cytocompatible nanocomposites for thermal management

Publication Name

Journal of Materials Science

Abstract

Highly flexible biocompatible materials that are both thermally conductive and electrically insulating are important for implantable and wearable bioelectronics applications. The ability to thermally process these materials into useful structures using additive manufacturing approaches opens up new opportunities for its use in bespoke structures. Here we investigate the three-dimensional (3D) printing of a medical-grade thermoplastic polyurethane (PU) elastomer, which is thermally insulating and enhance its thermal and mechanical properties through the incorporation of boron nitride (BN) as a filler. Via a simple solution compounding approach, a highly flexible and thermally conductive BN nanoparticle/ PU composite has been developed and subsequently processed into simple bio-scaffolds structures via a 3D pneumatic melt extrusion printing process. The addition of up to 20% w/w of BN to the PU significantly enhances the tensile modulus by 659%, from 1.74 to 13.2 MPa, while supporting high mechanical flexibility. The thermal conductivity of 20% w/w BN/PU composite increases by 74% with respect to the unmodified PU. The 3D printed BN/PU composite scaffolds exhibit good biocompatibility and cell attachment enhancement with L929 fibroblast cells. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Volume

56

Issue

10

First Page

6385

Last Page

6400

Funding Number

CE140100012

Funding Sponsor

Australian National Fabrication Facility

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10853-020-05661-9