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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2013 Jan;227(1):50-7.

The influence of prefreezing temperature on pore structure in freeze-dried beta-TCP scaffolds.

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School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China.


A combined method of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffold production, which comprised negative mold and scaffold fabrication, was reported in this study. The negative mold structure was designed by computer and fabricated by fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology, while the TCP scaffold was produced by freeze-drying technology under different prefreezing temperatures of -10 degrees C, -30 degrees C, and -86 degrees C and thermal treatment to get beta-TCP. The scaffold structure was evaluated with X-ray, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), compressive mechanical testing, and micro-computerized tomography (micro-CT). The cell-scaffold interaction was studied by culturing dog bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) on the scaffolds and assessing differentiated BMSC function by measuring cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. The results showed good interconnectivity and good pore distribution with the pore size ranging from 50 to 250 microm and compressive modulus of 1.18 MPa at a prefreezing temperatures of -10 degrees C. In vitro cell culture results indicated that the porous scaffolds were not toxic to bone cells. These results demonstrate that rapid prototyping and freeze-drying technologies for creating beta-TCP scaffolds are promising for bone tissue engineering.

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