Additive manufacturing is gaining importance thanks to its multiple advantages. Stereolithography (SLA) shows the highest accuracy and the lowest anisotropy, which has facilitated the emergence of new applications as dentistry or tissue engineering. However, the availability of commercial photopolymers is still limited, and there is an increasing interest in developing resins with properties adapted for these new applications. The addition of graphene-based nanomaterials (GBN) may provide interesting advantages, such as improved mechanical properties and bioactivity. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the effect of GBNs on the polymerization reaction. A photopolymerizable acrylic resin has been used, and the effect of the addition of 0.1wt% of graphene (G); graphene oxide (GO) and graphite nanoplatelets (GoxNP) on printability and polymerization have been investigated. It was observed that the effect depended on GBN type, functionalization and structure (e.g., number of layers, size, and morphology) due to differences in the extent of dispersion and light absorbance.
The obtained results showed that GO and GoxNP did not significantly affect the printability and quality of the final structure, whilst the application of G exhibited a negative effect in terms of printability due to a reduction in the polymerization degree.
GO and GoxNP-loaded resins showed a great potential to be used for manufacturing structures by SLA.
Spanish layman's summary:
La variedad de fotopolímeros comerciales para SLA es aún limitada y resulta muy interesante el desarrollo de resinas con propiedades adaptadas a nuevas aplicaciones, como ingeniería de tejidos. La adición de GBN posee muchas ventajas, como la mejora de propiedades mecánicas y bioactividad. Sin embargo, hay una falta de conocimiento sobre el efecto de los GBN en la polimerización.
English layman's summary:
The availability of commercial photopolymers for SLA is still limited and it is interesting to develop resins with properties adapted for new applications, as tissue engineering. The addition of GBN may provide interesting advantages, like improved mechanical properties and bioactivity. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the effect of GBNs on the polymerization reaction.
Keywords: Nanocomposites, Graphene-based nanomaterials, Stereolithography, Photocurable polymer, Printing accuracy
JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 6.638 - Q1 (2020)
DOI reference: 10.18063/ijb.v8i2.0001
Published on paper: March 2022.
Published on-line: January 2022.
S. López de Armentia, S. Fernández-Villamarín, Y. Ballesteros, J.C. del Real-Romero, N. Dunne, E. Paz. 3D printing of a graphene-modified photopolymer using stereolithography for biomedical applications: a study of the polymerization reaction. International Journal of Bioprinting. Vol. 8, nº. 1, pp. 1 - 16, March 2022. [Online: January 2022]