Fabrication of porous beta-tricalcium phosphate with microchannel and customized geometry based on gel-casting and rapid prototyping

State Key Lab for Manufacturing System Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, ShaanXi, People's Republic of China.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.33). 03/2011; 225(3):315-23. DOI: 10.1243/09544119JEIM769
Source: PubMed


The tissue engineering scaffolds with three-dimensional porous structure are regarded to be beneficial to facilitate a sufficient supply of nutrients and enable cell ingrowth in bone reconstruction. However, the pores in scaffolds tend to be blocked by the cell ingrowth and result in a restraint of nutrient supply in the further side of the scaffold. An indirect approach of combining the rapid prototyping and gel-casting technique is introduced in this study to fabricate beta-tricalcium phosphate (beta-TCP) scaffolds which not only have interconnected porous structure, but also have a microchannel network inside. The scaffold was designed with customized geometry that matches the defect area, and a double-scale (micropores-microchannel) porous structure inside that is beneficial for cell ingrowth. The scaffolds fabricated have an open, uniform, and interconnected porous architecture with a pore size of 200-400 microm, and posses an internal channel network with a diameter of 600 microm. The porosity was controllable. The compressive yield strength was 4.5 MPa with a porosity of 70 per cent. X-ray diffraction analysis shows that these fabrication processes do not change the crystal structure and chemical composition of beta-TCP. With this technique, it was also possible to fabricate porous scaffolds with desired pore size, porosity, and microchannel, as well as customized geometries by other bioceramics.

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