A Study of 3D-Printable Reinforced Composite Resin: PMMA Modified with Silver Nanoparticles Loaded Cellulose Nanocrystal
With the rapid application of light-curing 3D printing technology, the demand for high-performance polymer resins is increasing. Existing light-curable resins often have drawbacks limiting their clinical applications. This study aims to develop a new type of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) composite resins with enhanced mechanical properties, high antibacterial activities and excellent biocompatibilities. A series of reinforced composite resins were prepared by mechanically mixing PMMA with modified cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), which were coated with polydopamine and decorated by silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) via Tollen reaction. The morphology of CNCs-Ag was observed by transmission electron microscopy and the formation of AgNPs on CNCs was confirmed by X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses. Functional groups in PMMA-CNCs-Ag composites were verified by Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy. The mechanical assessment and scanning electron microscopy analysis suggested that the evenly distributed CNCs-AgNPs composite effectively improve mechanical properties of PMMA resin. Cytotoxicity assay and antibacterial activity tests indicated excellent biocompatibility and high antibacterial activities. Furthermore, PMMA with CNCs-AgNPs of 0.1 wt.% (PMMA-CNCs-AgNPs-0.1) possessed the most desirable mechanical properties owing to the homogeneous distribution of AgNPs throughout the resin matrix. This specific composite resin can be used as a functional dental restoration material with potential of other medical applications.