Georgeta Voicu

Abstracts

4 Synthesis of Tricalcium Phosphate Substituted with Magnesium Ions for Bone Regeneration

Authors: Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Georgeta Voicu, Cristina Busuioc, Andreia Cucuruz

Abstract:

Ceramics based on calcium phosphates have lately increased attention for tissue engineering because they can be used as substitute bones or for bone regeneration since they mimic very well the nanostructure of tough bone tissue, but also because of other advantages such as a very good biocompatibility and osseointegration. This study aims the preparation and characterization of ceramic materials on the basis of TCP (Ca₃(PO₄)₂), within which calcium ions are substituted by magnesium ions (Mg²⁺) in order to improve the regenerative properties of these materials. TCP-Mg material was synthesized by chemical precipitation method using calcium oxide (CaO) and phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄) as precursors. The objective was to obtain powders with different concentrations of Mg in order to analyze the effect of magnesium ions on the physicochemical properties of phosphate ceramics and in vitro degradation in simulated biological fluid (SBF). Ceramic powders were characterized in vitro but also from the compositional and microstructural point of view. TCP_Mg powders were prepared through wet chemical method from calcium oxide (CaO), magnesium oxide nanopowder (MgO < 50 nm particle size (BET) Sigma Aldrich), phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄ - 85 wt.% in H₂O, 99.99% trace metals basis - Sigma Aldrich). In order to determine the quantities of raw materials, calculations were performed to obtain HAp with Ca/P ratio of 1.5.

Keywords: Tissue Engineering, Bone Regeneration, tricalcium phosphate, magnesium substitution

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3 Influence of BaTiO₃ on the Biological Behaviour of Hydroxyapatite: Collagen Composites

Authors: Georgeta Voicu, Cristina Busuioc, Sorin-Ion Jinga

Abstract:

The human bone presents in its dry form piezoelectric properties, which means that a mechanical stress results in electric polarization and an applied electric field causes strain. The immediate consequence was the revealing of piezoelectricity role in bone remodelling, as well as the integration of ceramic materials with piezoelectric behaviour in the composition of unitary or composite biomaterials. Thus, we prepared hydroxyapatite - collagen hybrid materials with barium titanate addition in order to achieve a better osseointegration. Barium titanate powder synthesized by a combined sol-gel-hydrothermal method, commercial hydroxyapatite and laboratory extracted collagen gel were employed as starting materials. Before the composites, fabrication, the powder with piezoelectric features was characterized in detail from the compositional, structural, morphological and electrical point of view. The next step was to elucidate the influence of barium titanate presence especially on the biological properties of the final materials. The biocompatibility of the hybrid supports without or with piezoelectric addition was investigated on mouse osteoblast cells through LDH cytotoxicity assay, LIVE/DEAD cell viability assay, and MTT cell proliferation assay. All results indicated that the analysed materials do not exert cytotoxic effects and present the ability to sustain cell survival and to promote their proliferation. In conclusion, barium titanate nanoparticles exhibit a good biocompatibility and osteoinductive properties, while the derived composite materials based on hydroxyapatite as oxide phase and collagen as polymeric phase can be successfully used for tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: Tissue Engineering, Hybrid Composites, Piezoelectricity, barium titanate

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2 Hydroxyapatite-Chitosan Composites for Tissue Engineering Applications

Authors: Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Georgeta Voicu, Cristina Busuioc, Andreia Cucuruz

Abstract:

In the field of tissue engineering, the compositional and microstructural features of the employed materials play an important role, with implications on the mechanical and biological behaviour of the medical devices. In this context, the development of apatite - natural biopolymer composites represents a choice of many scientific groups. Thus, hydroxyapatite powders were synthesized by a wet method, namely co-precipitation, starting from high purity reagents (CaO, MgO, and H3PO4). Moreover, the substitution of calcium with magnesium have been approached, in the 5 - 10 wt.% range. Afterward, the phosphate powders were integrated in two types of composites with chitosan, different from morphological point of view. First, 3D porous scaffolds were obtained by a freeze-drying procedure. Second, uniform, compact films were achieved by film casting. The influence of chitosan molecular weight (low, medium and high), as well as apatite powder to polymer ratio (1:1 and 1:2) on the morphological properties, were analysed in detail. In conclusion, the reported biocomposites, prepared by a straightforward route are suitable for bone substitution or repairing applications.

Keywords: hydroxyapatite, chitosan, bone reconstruction, composite scaffolds

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1 Synthesis and Characterization of Graphene Composites with Application for Sustainable Energy

Authors: Bogdan S. Vasile, Ecaterina Andronescu, Daniel F. Sava, Anton Ficai, Georgeta Voicu

Abstract:

The energy crisis and environmental contamination are very serious problems, therefore searching for better and sustainable renewable energy is a must. It is predicted that the global energy demand will double until 2050. Solar water splitting and photocatalysis are considered as one of the solutions to these issues. The use of oxide semiconductors for solar water splitting and photocatalysis started in 1972 with the experiments of Fujishima and Honda on TiO2 electrodes. Since then, the evolution of nanoscience and characterization methods leads to a better control of size, shape and properties of materials. Although the past decade advancements are astonishing, for these applications the properties have to be controlled at a much finer level, allowing the control of charge-carrier lives, energy level positions, charge trapping centers, etc. Graphene has attracted a lot of attention, since its discovery in 2004, due to the excellent electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties that it possesses. These properties make it an ideal support for photocatalysts, thus graphene composites with oxide semiconductors are of great interest. We present in this work the synthesis and characterization of graphene-related materials and oxide semiconductors and their different composites. These materials can be used in constructing devices for different applications (batteries, water splitting devices, solar cells, etc), thus showing their application flexibility. The synthesized materials are different morphologies and sizes of TiO2, ZnO and Fe2O3 that are obtained through hydrothermal, sol-gel methods and graphene oxide which is synthesized through a modified Hummer method and reduced with different agents. Graphene oxide and the reduced form could also be used as a single material for transparent conductive films. The obtained single materials and composites were characterized through several methods: XRD, SEM, TEM, IR spectroscopy, RAMAN, XPS and BET adsorption/desorption isotherms. From the results, we see the variation of the properties with the variation of synthesis parameters, size and morphology of the particles.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Composites, Graphene, Hydrothermal

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