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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 310935, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Synthesized Nanohydroxyapatite-Nanocellulose Composites as Biocompatible Scaffolds for Applications in Bone Tissue Engineering

1Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, P.O. Box 23346, San Juan, PR 00931-3346, USA
2Molecular Science Research Center, University of Puerto Rico, Suite 2, 1390 Ponce De Leon Avenue, San Juan, PR 00931-3346, USA
3Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, P.O. Box 23346, San Juan, PR 00931-3346, USA

Received 26 September 2015; Accepted 30 November 2015

Academic Editor: Tae-Yub Kwon

Copyright © 2015 Claudia S. Herdocia-Lluberes et al. 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.


Basic calcium phosphate (BCP) crystals have been associated with many diseases due to their activation of signaling pathways that lead to their mineralization and deposition in intra-articular and periarticular locations in the bones. In this study, hydroxyapatite (HAp) has been placed in a polysaccharide network as a strategy to minimize this deposition. This research consisted of the evaluation of varying proportions of the polysaccharide network, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), and HAp synthesized via a simple sol-gel method. The resulting biocompatible composites were extensively characterized by means of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was found that an nHAp = CNC ratio presented greater homogeneity in the size and distribution of the nanoparticles without compromising the crystalline structure. Also, incorporation of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) was performed to evaluate the effects that this interaction would have in the constructs. Finally, the osteoblast cell (hFOB 1.19) viability assay was executed and it showed that all of the materials promoted greater cell proliferation while the nHAp > CNC proportion with the inclusion of the BMP-2 protein was the best composite for the purpose of this study.