Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement with Hybrid Silk Fibroin/Kappa-Carrageenan Nanofibers
Calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) offer a promising solution for treating bone defects due to their osteoconductive, injectable, biocompatible, and bone replacement properties. However, their brittle nature restricts their utilization to non-load-bearing applications. In this study, the impact of hybrid silk fibroin (SF) and kappa-carrageenan (k-CG) nanofibers as reinforcements in CPC was investigated. The CPC composite was fabricated by incorporating electrospun nanofibers in 1, 3, and 5% volume fractions. The morphology, mineralization, mechanical properties, setting time, injectability, cell adhesion, and mineralization of the CPC composites were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the addition of the nanofibers improved the CPC mixture, leading to an increase in compressive strength (14.8 ± 0.3 MPa compared to 8.1 ± 0.4 MPa of the unreinforced CPC). Similar improvements were seen in the bending strength and work fracture (WOF). The MC3T3-E1 cell culture experiments indicated that cells attached well to the surfaces of all cement samples and tended to join their adjacent cells. Additionally, the CPC composites showed higher cell mineralization after a culture period of 14 days, indicating that the SF/k-CG combination has potential for applications as a CPC reinforcement and bone cell regeneration promoter.