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Novel Self-Assembly-Induced Gelation for Nanofibrous Collagen/Hydroxyapatite Composite Microspheres

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1110;
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
PDF [8043 KB, uploaded 21 September 2017]


This study demonstrates the utility of the newly developed self-assembly-induced gelation technique for the synthesis of porous collagen/hydroxyapatite (HA) composite microspheres with a nanofibrous structure. This new approach can produce microspheres of a uniform size using the droplets that form at the nozzle tip before gelation. These microspheres can have a highly nanofibrous structure due to the immersion of the droplets in a coagulation bath (water/acetone), in which the collagen aggregates in the solution can self-assemble into fibrils due to pH-dependent precipitation. Bioactive HA particles were incorporated into the collagen solutions, in order to enhance the bioactivity of the composite microspheres. The composite microspheres exhibited a well-defined spherical morphology and a uniform size for all levels of HA content (0 wt %, 10 wt %, 15 wt %, and 20 wt %). Collagen nanofibers—several tens of nanometers in size—were uniformly present throughout the microspheres and the HA particles were also well dispersed. The in vitro apatite-forming ability, assessed using the simulated body fluid (SBF) solution, increased significantly with the incorporation of HA into the composite microspheres. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomaterials; porous scaffolds; collagen; hydroxyapatite; in vitro bioactivity biomaterials; porous scaffolds; collagen; hydroxyapatite; in vitro bioactivity

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, J.-W.; Kim, J.-W.; Jo, I.-H.; Koh, Y.-H.; Kim, H.-E. Novel Self-Assembly-Induced Gelation for Nanofibrous Collagen/Hydroxyapatite Composite Microspheres. Materials 2017, 10, 1110.

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