Project Title: Mechanical optimization and in vitro characterization of bioactive glass-ceramic scaffolds manufactured by robocasting for bone regeneration
Funding Entity: Gobierno de Extremadura
Participating Entities: University of Extremadura
Duration: 31/07/2014 – 30/07/2016
Budget: 58 960 €
Principal Investigator (PI): Pedro Miranda
Number of researchers: 4
The project main objective was developing and optimizing new bioactive materials with improved mechanical and osteoconductive properties for the regeneration of large bone defects. It was possible to improve the performance of glass-ceramic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering manufactured by robocasting by optimizing their microstructure and, especially, through the application of polymeric coatings. On the one hand, it was demonstrated that minimizing the porosity of the bars that constitute these scaffolds is key when optimizing fracture resistance even in infiltrated structures. It was possible to reach strength values close to those of cortical bone in the case, for example, of scaffolds manufactured from 13-93 bioglass). The critical role of the concentration of the starting solution in the mechanical reinforcement offered by the polymeric coatings deposited by dip-coating and the need to properly select its composition was also determined. This composition should be chosen in such a way that no adverse chemical interactions occur and the resistance of the interface is maximized. In this regard, it has been found that the use of natural polymers such as chitosan can be very beneficial since they simultaneously improve the mechanical performance and bioactivity of the scaffold they cover and allow modulating their degradation rate. The beneficial effects of incorporating bioceramic reinforcing particles into the composition of these coatings was also verified.