Composites of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) of varied functionality (unfunctionalised andcarboxyl and amine functionalised) with polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) were prepared for use as a bone cement. The MWCNT loadings ranged from 0.1 to 1.0 wt.%. The fatigue properties of these MWCNT–PMMA bone cements were characterised at MWCNT loading levels of 0.1 and 0.25 wt.% with the type and wt.% loading of MWCNT used having a strong influence on the number of cycles to failure. The morphology and degree of dispersion of the MWCNT in the PMMA matrix at different length scales were examined using field emission scanning electron microscopy. Improvements in the fatigue properties were attributed to the MWCNT arresting/retarding crack propagation through the cement through a bridging effect and hindering crack propagation. MWCNT agglomerates were evident within the cement microstructure and the degree of agglomeration was dependent on the level of loading and functionality of the MWCNT. The biocompatibility of the MWCNT–PMMA cements at MWCNT loading levels up to 1.0 wt.% was determined by means of established biological cell culture assays using MG-63 cells. Cell attachment after 4 h was determined using the crystal violet staining assay. Cell viability was determined over 7 days in vitro using the standard colorimetric MTT assay. Confocal scanning laser microscopy and SEM analysis was also used to assess cell morphology on the various substrates.
Ormsby, R., McNally, T., O'Hare, P., Burke, GA., Mitchell, C., & Dunne, N. (2011). Fatigue and biocompatibility properties of a poly(methyl methacrylate) bonecement with multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Acta Biomaterialia, 8, 1201-1212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2011.10.010