Project Title: Development of beta-TCP bioceramic scaffolds with porosity gradients by robocasting 

Acronym: PET2008_0168_02

Funding Entity: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN)

Participating Entities:  University of Extremadura, ICMM-CSIC, ICTP-CSIC, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Noricum S.L. and Oscatech Microinyección S.L.

Duration: 1/3/2009 – 31/08/2011

Budget: 17 182 € (UEX)

Principal Investigator (PI): Pedro Miranda

Number of researchers: 4


Colloidal suspensions (inks) suitable for robocasting were developed and optimized from both commercial b-TCP and hydroxyapatite (HA) powders with and without prior treatment by milling. The suspensions developed allow to better control the geometry of the samples manufactured using this technique. From these inks, 3D structures have been manufactured with simple geometries appropriate for the set-up, by the group of José Vicente Sanz Casado of the Institute of Biofunctional Studies of the UCM, of methods of in vitro monitoring  of cell adhesion and proliferation in these structures. 3D structures with more complex geometry have also been manufactured, suitable for anchoring to the maxilla of mini-pigs, for a series of preliminary in vivo tests  also carried out by the UCM group. In addition, a pore gradient structure appropriate for the objective application of our coordinated proposal has been designed, optimized and manufactured, with the help of the indications of the other research groups involved in this coordinated project and the results of the microstructural and mechanical characterization, as well as  the FEM simulations carried out. That is, a three-dimensional bioactive support has been developed to replace maxillofacial bone fragments capable of facilitating the growth of osteoblastic tissue (versus fibroblastic) inside the support thanks to its design with porosity gradient and capable of being activated with growth factors or cell differentiation such as  recombinant proteins. The practical relevance of this type of structure is enormous, since it can potentially alleviate the main drawbacks of the materials for bone regeneration that are currently used in maxillofacial applications.