2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Innovative PMMA/Silica nanocomposites for optical and biomedical applications

M. Avella, L. De Petrocellis, E. Di Pace, M.E. Errico, G. Gentile and P. Orlando
ICTP-CNR, IT

Keywords:
PMMA, nanocomposites, Silica, interphase, adhesion

Abstract:
The main goal of this research is the preparation of new PMMA/Silica nanocomposites with improved mechanical properties and highly specific bio-activity. PMMA based nanocomposites reinforced with modified silica nanoparticles have been prepared and characterized. Transparency of PMMA resulted only partially affected by the presence of silica nanoparticles, thus suggesting the possible use of the nanocomposites for optical applications. Morphological analysis revealed an unusual arrangement of silica nanoparticles into PMMA matrix. A significant increase of the glass transition temperature has been also evidenced. As concerning mechanical properties, the addition a of a rubbery interphase layer has shown a strong increase of the flexural modulus with respect to PMMA without affecting the toughness of the material. An improvement of the abrasion resistance of realized nanocomposites in comparison to neat matrix has been also recorded. Finally, the study of the bio-activity of the prepared nanocomposites is still in progress. Data on cytotoxicity and inflammatory properties of PMMA/silica nanocomposites evaluated by measuring the PMMA stimulated expression of surface proteins in humane Jurkat lymphocyte T cells will be showed, as well as results on the production of reactive oxygen species measured by quantification of lipoperoxidation in membranes and genotoxicity measured using the comet assay.

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