An ongoing challenge in bone tissue engineering is to create porous constructs (scaffolds) with large and interconnected pores necessary for vascularisation and bone formation while supporting the static and cyclic loads present in vivo. A wide variety of 3D scaffolds of different structures and material properties has been reported in the literature for bone regeneration; however, these have struggled to meet the requirements for adequate pore geometry and bioactivity combined with the mechanical strength necessary for bone regeneration under load. Bone is able to achieve these properties via its unique anisotropic structure and truss architecture. We used a three dimensional (3D) printing technology to fabricate glass-ceramic scaffolds with distinct pore geometries.
We have taken a step towards meeting the combined requirements for bone regeneration under load through our development of the Sr-HT-Gahnite ceramic, which is bioactive. We recently optimised our 3D printing technology to fabricate ceramic scaffolds with different internal geometries, which simultaneously display the properties of high mechanical strength and bone-like architecture. This presentation will discuss our three dimensional (3D) printed ceramic scaffold and their efficacy in treating large bone defects under load. Moreover, we demonstrated that manipulating pore size and permeability, as a function of scaffold architecture, provides a useful strategy for enhancing bone regeneration outcomes. Our technologies open avenues for skeletal and soft tissue regeneration in various clinical applications.
Such scaffold with optimised pore geometry opens avenues for treatment of load bearing bone defects in various clinical applications including spine, orthopaedics, dental and maxillofacial. Sr-HT-Gahnite scaffolds not only possess mechanical properties matching cortical bone to withstand skeletal loads, but also have ability to accelerate new bone formation and vascularisation to achieve the complete bridging of large bone defects.