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Biomaterials. 2003 Aug;24(19):3293-302.

Preparation of porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds by combination of the gel-casting and polymer sponge methods.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, 302L Roberts Hall, Seattle 98195-2120, USA.


A new technique of combining the gel-casting and polymer sponge methods is introduced in this study to prepare macroporous hydroxyapatite scaffolds, which provides a better control over the microstructures of scaffolds and enhances their mechanical properties. With this technique, we were able to produce scaffolds with mechanical and structural properties that cannot be attained by either the polymer sponge or gel-casting method. The scaffolds prepared have an open, uniform and interconnected porous structure with a pore size of 200-400 microm. A compressive yield strength of approximately 5 MPa equivalent to that of cancellous bone and a compressive modulus of approximately 8 GPa similar to that of cortical bone were achieved. The pore morphology, size, and distribution of the scaffolds were characterized using a scanning electron microscope. X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to determine the crystal structure and chemical composition of scaffolds, respectively. Scaffolds with desired porosity, pore size, and geometry can be prepared by using polymer sponges of appropriate structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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