Robocasting of Bioactive SiO2-P2O5-CaO-MgO-Na2O-K2O Glass Scaffolds
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Journal||Journal of Healthcare Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Bioactive silicate glass scaffolds were fabricated by a robocasting process in which all the movements of the printing head were programmed by compiling a script (text file). A printable ink made of glass powder and Pluronic F-127, acting as a binder, was extruded to obtain macroporous scaffolds with a grid-like three-dimensional structure. The scaffold architecture was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and microtomographic analysis, which allowed quantifying the microstructural parameters (pore size 150-180 μm and strut diameter 300 μm). In vitro tests in simulated body fluid (SBF) confirmed the apatite-forming ability (i.e., bioactivity) of the scaffolds. The compressive strength (around 10 MPa for as-produced scaffolds) progressively decreased during immersion in SBF (3.3 MPa after 4 weeks) but remains acceptable for bone repair applications. Taken together, these results (adequate porosity and mechanical strength as well as bioactivity) support the potential suitability of the prepared scaffolds for bone substitution.