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Issue 24, 2012
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3D-printing of highly uniform CaSiO3 ceramic scaffolds: preparation, characterization and in vivo osteogenesis

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Abstract

Calcium silicate (CaSiO3, CS) ceramics have received significant attention for application in bone regeneration due to their excellent in vitro apatite-mineralization ability; however, how to prepare porous CS scaffolds with a controllable pore structure for bone tissue engineering still remains a challenge. Conventional methods could not efficiently control the pore structure and mechanical strength of CS scaffolds, resulting in unstable in vivo osteogenesis. The aim of this study is to set out to solve these problems by applying a modified 3D-printing method to prepare highly uniform CS scaffolds with controllable pore structure and improved mechanical strength. The in vivo osteogenesis of the prepared 3D-printed CS scaffolds was further investigated by implanting them in the femur defects of rats. The results show that the CS scaffolds prepared by the modified 3D-printing method have uniform scaffold morphology. The pore size and pore structure of CS scaffolds can be efficiently adjusted. The compressive strength of 3D-printed CS scaffolds is around 120 times that of conventional polyurethane templated CS scaffolds. 3D-Printed CS scaffolds possess excellent apatite-mineralization ability in simulated body fluids. Micro-CT analysis has shown that 3D-printed CS scaffolds play an important role in assisting the regeneration of bone defects in vivo. The healing level of bone defects implanted by 3D-printed CS scaffolds is obviously higher than that of 3D-printed β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) scaffolds at both 4 and 8 weeks. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining shows that 3D-printed CS scaffolds induce higher quality of the newly formed bone than 3D-printed β-TCP scaffolds. Immunohistochemical analyses have further shown that stronger expression of human type I collagen (COL1) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) in the bone matrix occurs in the 3D-printed CS scaffolds than in the 3D-printed β-TCP scaffolds. Considering these important advantages, such as controllable structure architecture, significant improvement in mechanical strength, excellent in vivo osteogenesis and since there is no need for second-time sintering, it is indicated that the prepared 3D-printed CS scaffolds are a promising material for application in bone regeneration.

Graphical abstract: 3D-printing of highly uniform CaSiO3 ceramic scaffolds: preparation, characterization and in vivo osteogenesis

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Article information


Submitted
30 Jan 2012
Accepted
18 Apr 2012
First published
19 Apr 2012

J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 12288-12295
Article type
Paper

3D-printing of highly uniform CaSiO3 ceramic scaffolds: preparation, characterization and in vivo osteogenesis

C. Wu, W. Fan, Y. Zhou, Y. Luo, M. Gelinsky, J. Chang and Y. Xiao, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 12288
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM30566F

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