Sara Novak

Visiting  PhD student (Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil)

Biocompatible hydrogel poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL)-bioactive glass composites


Supervisor in Erlangen: Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Supervisor in Brazil: Prof. Emerson Rodrigues de Camargo

The incidence of skeletal injuries associated with the aging process has been increasing with the people’s life expectancy around the world [1]. Therefore, searching for new biomaterials applied in tissue engineering is a subject with a relevant social impact. In this context, the thermosensitive and biocompatible hydrogel poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL) can be used as an injectable scaffold for tissue reconstruction [2], while the combination of PNVCL and bioactive ceramics could lead to bioactive nanocomposites with appropriate mechanical properties for the treatment of bone defects in a less invasive way. Thus, through this PhD research, nanocomposite hydrogels of PNVCL containing bioactive particles are being synthesized and characterized in the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Electrochemistry and Ceramics, at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. After the synthesis, physicochemical and rheological characterization in Brazil, the nanocomposites are being investigated in collaboration at the Institute of Biomaterials, at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg as a potential scaffold for bone reconstruction through in vitro biological tests as bioactivity assays, protein adsorption, adhesion, growth, and differentiation of osteoblast-like cells. In the long run, the goal of this research is to contribute to the development of less invasive therapies for bone injury treatments.

This study is funded by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES, Finance Code 001) in cooperation with Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD – Co-financed Short-term Research Grant Brazil).

[1] CA. Creecy, Brown, K. L, Rose. K. L, Voziyan, P. Nyman. J. S. Post-translational modifications in collagen type I of bone in a mouse model of aging. Bone.  143 (2021) 115763. Doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2020.115763

[2] R.L. Sala, M.Y. Kwon, M. Kim, S.E. Gullbrand, E.A. Henning, R.L. Mauck, E.R. Camargo, J.A. Burdick, Thermosensitive Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) Injectable Hydrogels for Cartilage Tissue Engineering, Tissue Eng. Part A. 23 (2017) 935-945. Doi: 10.1089/ten.tea.2016.0464.

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