Hydroxyapatite (HAp) is one of the most important bioceramics for medical and dental applications, as it possesses excellent biocompatibility and is osteoconductive. However, pure HAp is difficult to shape in the complex forms required for tissue engineering applications such as bone repair because of its hardness and brittleness. Therefore, we have developed novel nanocomposite hydrogels based on HAp and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels. The gel properties (soft, hydrated and moldable) allow the fabrication of 2D-patterned substrates and 3D-structured scaffolds, which can be further biomineralized to exhibit increased bioactivity and functionality to support the growth of osteoblast cells.
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