FURI | Fall 2020

Characterizing Nanocomposites for Customizable Cartilage Replacements

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The properties and characteristics of photocurable nanocomposites can be tailored to mimic those of various tissues and/or cartilage, allowing the bio-inspired synthetic material to replace them. The long-term goal of this project is to 3D print the replacements so they can be tailored to fit individual patients. Therefore, it is critical that the thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties of the nanocomposites be more acutely understood to predict the material’s behavior. In this investigation, methacrylate-functionalized silica nanoparticles were incorporated into the composite to alter its properties. The characterization of this material will give better insight into its applicability as cartilage replacements.

Student researcher

Alexis Hocken

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021