Graphene or graphene oxide reinforced chitosan composites were widely demonstrated to exhibits potential applications in bone tissue engineering for their excellent biocompatibility and osteoinductivity. Nevertheless, the poor mechanical properties that caused by the weak interfacial interactions between graphene or graphene oxide and chitosan limit their applications to a great extent. In the study, graphene oxide reinforced chitosan with chemical interfacial bonding (–CN bond) through the amide reaction significantly improved the interfacial interactions and then the mechanical properties of the composites. The compression testing demonstrated effects of the interfacial modification on the mechanical properties of composites. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results indicated that the new formation of C–N bond between graphene oxide and the chitosan matrix. ReaxFF molecular dynamics simulations were carried out to investigate the interactions between graphene oxide and chitosan at the atomistic scale. In vitro cytocompatibility testing demonstrated that the interfacial chemical modifications exhibit no effects on the biocompatibility of the composites. Thus, a meaningful way was proposed in this study to obtain the graphene oxide/chitosan biocomposites for tissue engineering with improved mechanical properties and excellent biocompatibility.
- Graphene oxide
- Chemical interfacial modifications
- Porous biocomposites