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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jun 26;20(13). pii: E3118. doi: 10.3390/ijms20133118.

Comparative Study between Laser Light Stereo-Lithography 3D-Printed and Traditionally Sintered Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds by an Integrated Morphological, Morphometric and Mechanical Analysis.

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Private Practice, 22015 Gravedona (CO), Italy.
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy.
Department of Prevention and Communal Dentistry, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
DWS S.r.l., 36016 Thiene (VI), Italy.
Department of Clinical Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy.


In dental districts, successful bone regeneration using biphasic calcium phosphate materials was recently explored. The present study aimed to perform a comparative study between 3D-printed scaffolds produced by laser light stereo-lithography (SLA) and traditionally sintered biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds by an integrated morphological, morphometric and mechanical analysis.


Biphasic calcium phosphate (30% HA/70% β-TCP) samples, produced by SLA-3D-printing or by traditional sintering methods, were tested. The experimental sequence included: (1) Microtomography (microCT) analyses, to serve as control-references for the 3D morphometric analysis; (2) loading tests in continuous mode, with compression up to fracture, to reconstruct their mechanical characteristics; and (3) microCT of the same samples after the loading tests, for the prediction of the morphometric changes induced by compressive loading of the selected materials. All the biomaterials were also studied by complementary scanning electron microscopy to evaluate fracture regions and surfaces.


The characterization of the 3D mineralized microarchitecture showed that the SLA-3D-printed biomaterials offer performances comparable to and in some cases better than the traditionally sintered ones, with higher mean thickness of struts and pores. Interestingly, the SLA-3D-printed samples had a higher ultimate strength than the sintered ones, with a smaller plastic region. Moreover, by SEM observation, it was observed that fractures in the SLA-3D-printed samples were localized in the structure nodes or on the external shells of the rods, while all the traditionally sintered samples revealed a ductile fracture surface.


The reduction of the region of plastic deformation in the SLA-3D-printed samples with respect to traditionally sintered biomaterials is expected to positively influence, in vivo, the cell adhesion. Both microCT and SEM imaging revealed that the studied biomaterials exhibit a structure more similar to human jaw than the sintered biomaterials.


3D-printing; X-ray microtomography; biomechanical analysis; biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds; laser light stereo-lithography (SLA); morphometric analysis

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