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Journal Article

The morphology of anisotropic 3D-printed hydroxyapatite scaffolds


Irsen,  S.
Electron Microscopy and Analytics, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), Max Planck Society;

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Fierz, F. C., Beckmann, F., Huser, M., Irsen, S., Leukers, B., Witte, F., et al. (2008). The morphology of anisotropic 3D-printed hydroxyapatite scaffolds. Biomaterials, 29(28), 3799-3806.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-610F-8
Three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds with tailored pores ranging from the nanometer to millimeter scale can support the reconstruction of centimeter-sized osseous defects. Three-dimensional-printing processes permit the voxel-wise fabrication of scaffolds. The present study rests upon 3D-printing with nanoporous hydroxyapatite granulates. The cylindrical design refers to a hollow bone with higher density at the periphery. The millimeter-wide central channel follows the symmetry axis and connects the perpendicularly arranged micro-pores. Synchrotron radiation-based micro computed tomography has served for the non-destructive characterization of the scaffolds. The 3D data treatments: is essential, since, for example, the two-dimensional distance maps overestimate the mean distances to the material by 33-50% with respect to the 3D analysis. The scaffolds contain 70% micrometer-wide pores that are interconnected. Using virtual spheres, which might be related to the cells migrating along the pores, the central channel remains accessible through the micro-pores for spheres with a diameter of up to (350 +/- 35) mu m. Registering the tomograms with their 3D-printing matrices has yielded the almost isotropic shrinking of (27 +/- 2)% owing to the sintering process. This registration also allows comparing the design and tomographic data in a quantitative manner to extract the quality of the fabricated scaffolds. Histological analysis of the scaffolds seeded with osteogenic-stimulated progenitor cells has confirmed the suitability of the 3D-printed scaffolds for potential clinical applications. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved