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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 479109, 8 pages
Research Article

Water Absorption and Diffusion Characteristics of Nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) and Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate-) Based Composite Tissue Engineering Scaffolds and Nonporous Thin Films

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
2IJN-UTM Cardiovascular Engineering Centre (CEC), Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
3KALAM, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Received 15 March 2013; Revised 10 April 2013; Accepted 10 April 2013

Academic Editor: In-Kyu Park

Copyright © 2013 Naznin Sultana and Tareef Hayat Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Water uptake characteristics of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV-) based composite tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds incorporating nanosized hydroxyapatite (nHA) have been investigated. The water absorption of these composite scaffolds obeyed the classical diffusion theory for the initial period of time. The diffusion coefficients of the composite scaffolds during the water absorption were much faster than those for the nonporous thin films, suggesting that the water uptake process depends on the presence of porosity and porous microstructure of the composite scaffolds. The incorporation of nHA increased the water uptake of both the composite scaffolds and thin films. It was also observed that the equilibrium uptake increased with the incorporation of nHA. This increase in the water uptake was largely due to the nHA particle aggregates in the microstructure of both composite scaffolds and thin films. The activation energy for diffusion was also determined using the Arrhenius equation for both porous scaffolds and thin films and the results suggested that the activation energy for scaffolds was lower than that for thin films.