, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 201-209

Controlling the processing of collagen-hydroxyapatite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

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Scaffolds are an important aspect of the tissue engineering approach to tissue regeneration. This study shows that it is possible to manufacture scaffolds from type I collagen with or without hydroxyapatite (HA) by critical point drying. The mean pore sizes of the scaffolds can be altered from 44 to 135 μm depending on the precise processing conditions. Such pore sizes span the range that is likely to be required for specific cells. The mechanical properties of the scaffolds have been measured and behave as expected of foam structures. The degradation rate of the scaffolds by collagenase is independent of pore size. Dehydrothermal treatment (DHT), a common method of physically crosslinking collagen, was found to denature the collagen at a temperature of 120C resulting in a decrease in the scaffold’s resistance to collagenase. Hybrid scaffold structures have also been manufactured, which have the potential to be used in the generation of multi-tissue interfaces. Microchannels are neatly incorporated via an indirect solid freeform fabrication (SFF) process, which could aid in reducing the different constraints commonly observed with other scaffolds.