Date of Award

Winter 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Molecular Science and Nanotechnology

First Advisor

David K. Mills


The aim of this project is to coat halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) with strontium in an ecofriendly, simple, and non-expensive process. These particles, when doped in calcium phosphate cements (CPC), are predicted to increase the osteoconductive and antibacterial properties of three dimensional (3D) printed bone scaffolds.

The purpose of the 3D printed bone scaffolds is to assume the same function as the bones they are replacing but with several additional functionalities. These biomaterials will have the ability to be resorbed as new bone is formed. Due to inherent osteogenic factors and antibiotics released from doped HNTs during the reparative process, it will also provide surgeons with a multi-functional construct for a diverse set of dental and orthopedic applications. The purpose of the 3D printed scaffolds will be to provide a microenvironment for normal cells along with the ability to release antimicrobial, chemotherapeutics or other drugs. The system will also enable growth factor release.

Material characterization was conducted to confirm the presence of Sr on the HNTs. Cellular characterizations studies assessed cellular impact and behavior and included cytocompatibility studies, osteogenic/osteoinductive, and differentiation effects on pre-osteoblast cells and stromal cells. Material characterization studies included material strength test of the SrHNT/CPC composites. Based on the results, fabrication methods in future will be modified as needed to obtain the ideal medical construct.