Abstract A series of poly(vinyl alcohol) membranes reinforced with hydroxyapatite in various weight percent - 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% were prepared. Hydroxyapatite was prepared by a sol-gel procedure using diammonium hydrogen phosphate and calcium nitrate tetrahydrate as starting materials in an alkaline aqueous environment and then mixed with a solution of poly(vinyl alcohol), which was prepared by dissolving it in water at 85°C. The different mixtures were cast in a mould and evaporated for 7 days at a temperature of 30°C to obtain 1 mm thin membranes. FTIR spectroscopy was used to identify the different functional groups in the composites. The surface morphology was examined using a scanning electron microscope. In vitro bioactivity tests in Simulated Blood Fluid were performed for up to 28 days, especially for the membrane containing 50 wt.% HA. SEM was used to characterise the surface microstructure of biocomposite membranes before and after soaking in SBF. It was observed that the formation of clusters in membranes increases with increasing amount of HA. The clusters are formed due to agglomeration and crystal growth of HA particles during drying of the membranes. The in vitro bioactivity was found to increase with soaking time of biocomposite materials in simulated blood fluid. Graphical abstract <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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