This study was inspired by the unique multi-scale and multi-level ‘brick-and-mortar’ (B&M) structure of nacre layers. We prepared the B&M, environmentally-friendly graphene oxide-carrageenan (GO-Car) nanocomposite films using the following steps. A natural polyhydroxy polymer, carrageenan, was absorbed on the surface of monolayer GO nanosheets through hydrogen-bond interactions. Following this, a GO-Car hybridized film was produced through a natural drying process. We conducted structural characterization in addition to analyzing mechanical properties and cytotoxicity of the films. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses showed that the nanocomposite films had a similar morphology and structure to nacre. Furthermore, the results from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Thermogravimetric (TG/DTG) were used to explain the GO-Car interaction. Analysis from static mechanical testers showed that GO-Car had enhanced Young’s modulus, maximum tensile strength and breaking elongation compared to pure GO. The GO-Car nanocomposite films, containing 5% wt. of Car, was able to reach a tensile strength of 117 MPa. The biocompatibility was demonstrated using a RAW264.7 cell test, with no significant alteration found in cellular morphology and cytotoxicity. The preparation process for GO-Car films is simple and requires little time, with GO-Car films also having favorable biocompatibility and mechanical properties. These advantages make GO-Car nanocomposite films promising materials in replacing traditional petroleum-based plastics and tissue engineering-oriented support materials.
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