Fabrication and biological characteristics of β-tricalcium phosphate porous ceramic scaffolds reinforced with calcium phosphate glass
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The fabrication process, compressive strength and biocompatibility of porous β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) ceramic scaffolds reinforced with 45P2O5–22CaO–25Na2O–8MgO bioglass (β-TCP/BG) were investigated for their suitability as bone engineering materials. Porous β-TCP/BG scaffolds with macropore sizes of 200–500 μm were prepared by coating porous polyurethane template with β-TCP/BG slurry. The β-TCP/BG scaffolds showed interconnected porous structures and exhibited enhanced mechanical properties to those pure β-TCP scaffolds. In order to assess the effects of chemical composition of this bioglass on the behavior of osteoblasts cultured in vitro, porous scaffolds were immersed in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 2 weeks, and original specimens (without soaked in SBF) seeded with MC3T3-E1 were cultured for the same period. The ability of inducing apatite crystals in simulated body fluid and the attachment of osteoblasts were examined. Results suggest that apatite agglomerates are formed on the surface of the β-TCP/BG scaffolds and its Ca/P molar ratio is ~1.42. Controlling the crystallization from the β-TCP/BG matrix could influence the releasing speed of inorganic ions and further adjust the microenvironment of the solution around the β-TCP/BG, which could improve the interaction between osteoblasts and the scaffolds.
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