Three-dimensional printing of hierarchical and tough mesoporous bioactive glass scaffolds with a controllable pore architecture, excellent mechanical strength and mineralization ability
C. Wu, Y. Luo, G. Cuniberti, Y. Xiao, M. Gelinsky
Acta Biomaterialia 7, 2644 (2011)
New generation biomaterials for bone regeneration should be highly bioactive, resorbable and mechanically strong. Mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG), a novel bioactive material, has been used to study bone regeneration due to its excellent bioactivity, degradation and drug delivery ability, however, the construction of three-dimensional (3-D) MBG scaffolds (as for other bioactive inorganic scaffolds) for bone regeneration remains a significant challenge due to their inherent brittleness and low strength. In this brief communication we report a new facile method to prepare hierarchical and multifunctional MBG scaffolds with a controllable pore architecture, excellent mechanical strength and mineralization ability for application in bone regeneration by a modified 3-D printing technique using polyvinylalcohol (PVA) as a binder. The method provides a new way to solve commonly existing issues for inorganic scaffold materials, for example, uncontrollable pore architectures, low strength, high brittleness and the requirement for a second sintering at high temperature. The 3-D printed MBG scaffolds obtained possess a high mechanical strength about 200 times that of traditional polyurethane foam templated MBG scaffolds. They have a highly controllable pore architecture, excellent apatite mineralization ability and sustained drug delivery properties. Our study indicates that 3-D printed MBG scaffolds may be an excellent candidate for bone regeneration.