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Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2013 Sep 10;14(5):055002. eCollection 2013.

Correlation between properties and microstructure of laser sintered porous β-tricalcium phosphate bone scaffolds.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083, People's Republic of China; Department of Regenerative Medicine & Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
2
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083, People's Republic of China.
3
Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha 410078, People's Republic of China.
4
Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha 410078, People's Republic of China; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
5
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410078, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

A porous β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) bioceramic scaffold was successfully prepared with our homemade selective laser sintering system. Microstructure observation by a scanning electron microscope showed that the grains grew from 0.21 to 1.32 μm with the decrease of laser scanning speed from 250 to 50 mm min-1. The mechanical properties increased mainly due to the improved apparent density when the laser scanning speed decreased to 150 mm min-1. When the scanning speed was further decreased, the grain size became larger and the mechanical properties severely decreased. The highest Vickers hardness and fracture toughness of the scaffold were 3.59 GPa and 1.16 MPa m1/2, respectively, when laser power was 11 W, spot size was 1 mm in diameter, layer thickness was 0.1-0.2 mm and laser scanning speed was 150 mm min-1. The biocompatibility of these scaffolds was assessed in vitro with MG63 osteoblast-like cells and human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. The results showed that all the prepared scaffolds are suitable for cell attachment and differentiation. Moreover, the smaller the grain size, the better the cell biocompatibility. The porous scaffold with a grain size of 0.71 μm was immersed in a simulated body fluid for different days to assess the bioactivity. The surface of the scaffold was covered by a bone-like apatite layer, which indicated that the β-TCP scaffold possesses good bioactivity. These discoveries demonstrated the evolution rule between grain microstructure and the properties that give a useful reference for the fabrication of β-TCP bone scaffolds.

KEYWORDS:

10.01; 10.03; SLS; grain size; laser scanning speed; mechanical and biological properties; β-TCP

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