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Title: Development of nanomaterials applied to tissue engineering and cultural heritage conservation
Author: Melita, Lucia Noor
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 077X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Bone degradation can be determined by the demineralisation processes affecting the tissue both in vivo and ex vivo. Bone mineral density can decrease during ageing but also due to a series of other factors such as bone disorders. Nevertheless, the demineralisation can also occur in archaeological sites, due to soil environmental conditions that can undermine the long-term preservation of bone, or due to incorrect storage conditions. The approaches for the treatment of osteoporotic bone have included biomaterials able to promote bone repair. For bone and related materials in cultural heritage conservation, consolidation is often achieved with polymers which, however, can create damage in the long-term. In this thesis, new systems based on nanoparticles have been investigated for the mineralisation of collagen and for the consolidation of deteriorated bones, with emphasis on demineralised materials. Different inorganic nanoparticles were developed and their application was studied on simplified collagen models to evaluate their biocompatibility during the engineering of nanoparticle/collagen scaffolds. Mineralising tests in SBF were performed on partially mineralised collagen to observe if nanoparticles embedded in collagen scaffolds enhance further mineralisation. It was concluded that HA nanoparticles increased the mineral content, while CaCO3 nanoparticles demonstrated poor interaction with collagen. During the evaluation of their biocompatibility, alkali NPs tended to interact with collagen by creating a coherent layer of protection. Ca(OH)2 were therefore selected for the consolidation of artificially demineralised bones. The results demonstrated an increase in the mechanical strength of demineralised bone after the carbonation reaction. Carbonated Ca(OH)2 nanoparticles also acted as a protective layer preventing the degradation of collagen during accelerated ageing. The final chapter investigated the application of Ca(OH)2 nanoparticle dispersions for the deacidification of canvas, an already accepted practice in paper and wood conservation, and its long-term preservation effects after artificial ageing. An additional step looked at the applicability of the deacidification step during a standard conservation protocol.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available