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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Graphene oxide as a scaffold for bone regeneration

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Graphene oxide (GO), the oxidized form of graphene, holds great potential as a component of biomedical devices, deriving utility from its ability to support a broad range of chemical functionalities and its exceptional mechanical, electronic, and thermal properties. GO composites can be tuned chemically to be biomimetic, and mechanically to be stiff yet strong. These unique properties make GO‐based materials promising candidates as a scaffold for bone regeneration. However, questions still exist as to the compatibility and long‐term toxicity of nanocarbon materials. Unlike other nanocarbons, GO is meta‐stable, water dispersible, and autodegrades in water on the timescale of months to humic acid‐like materials, the degradation products of all organic matter. Thus, GO offers better prospects for biological compatibility over other nanocarbons. Recently, many publications have demonstrated enhanced osteogenic performance of GO‐containing composites. Ongoing work toward surface modification or coating strategies could be useful to minimize the inflammatory response and improve compatibility of GO as a component of medical devices. Furthermore, biomimetic modifications could offer mechanical and chemical environments that encourage osteogenesis. So long as care is given to assure their safety, GO‐based materials may be poised to become the next generation scaffold for bone regeneration. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2017, 9:e1437. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1437 This article is categorized under: Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanotechnology in Tissue Repair and Replacement
Timeline for bone healing.
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Representative transformations for the covalent modification of GO.
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Methods of incorporation of GO into bone regeneration scaffold. GO or a GO‐containing composite can be used to coat traditional osteogenic materials/scaffolds. GO can be noncovalently or covalently loaded for controlled release of osteogenic molecules. GO can be incorporated with other materials to form composites with enhanced properties for osteogenesis.
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In vivo considerations for GO exposure. (a) Table of vasculature diameters, a few relevant cell diameters, and the diameters of well dispersed GO and flocculated GO. * indicates that the value was reported by Kam and Power. (b) Image of flocculated GO with a diameter of ~1000 µm that can be suspended in water, representing in vivo studies in which flocculants may have been injected into the vasculature of animal models, such as mice. (c) While well dispersed GO is ~1 µm, flocculated GO is too large to flow through smaller blood vessels, such as pulmonary capillaries. While little is known about oral administration of GO, it is possible that it could be passed through the gastrointestinal track and be cleared, as has been preliminary shown for other nanomaterials.
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Mechanical properties of papers of GO or GO doped with <1.0 wt% magnesium or calcium ions (GO + Mg or GO + Ca, respectively); of papers of GO functionalized with 50 or 6 kg/mol polyvinyl alcohol (f‐(PVA)GO 50 k or f‐(PVA)GO 6 k, respectively); and of femoral and spongy bone.
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Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanotechnology in Tissue Repair and Replacement
Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants

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