Nanostructural Characteristics of Vacuum Cold-Sprayed Hydroxyapatite/Graphene-Nanosheet Coatings for Biomedical Applications
Development of novel biocompatible nanomaterials has provided insights into their potential biomedical applications. Bulk fabrication of the nanomaterials in the form of coatings remains challenging. Here, we report hydroxyapatite (HA)/graphene-nanosheet (GN) composite coatings deposited by vacuum cold spray (VCS). Significant shape changes of HA nanograins during the coating deposition were revealed. The nanostructural features of HA together with curvature alternation of GN gave rise to dense structures. Based on the microstructural characterization, a structure model was proposed to elucidate the nanostructural characteristics of the HA-GN nanocomposites. Results also showed that addition of GN significantly enhanced fracture toughness and elastic modulus of the HA-based coatings, which is presumably accounted for by crack bridging offered by GN in the composites. The VCS HA-GN coatings show potential for biomedical applications for the repair or replacement of hard tissues.