AbstractHydroxyapatite/poly(vinyl alcohol) (Hap/PVA) composites have been proposed as a promising biomaterial for use in articular cartilage repair. In this study, HAp/PVA composite gels reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were prepared using the freeze/thaw method. The influence of CNC as a reinforcement on the structure of composite gels was investigated via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The mechanical properties and thermal stability of the composite gels were also studied. The FT-IR and XRD results indicated that the HAp/PVA/CNC composite gels were formed by hydrogen bonding. SEM morphology showed that the CNC served as an enhancement phase that interpenetrated the network of the HAp/PVA composite gels. The tensile strength and tensile modulus of the composites improved with increasing dosage of CNC. The thermal stability measurements indicated that the thermal stability of the HAp/PVA composites was slightly improved with the addition of the CNC.