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Ceramic scaffolds produced by rapid prototyping: characterisation and biocompatibility investigations

Timothy Douglas 1Betül Temel 1Hermann Seitz 2Sureshan Sivananthan 3Jörg Wiltfang 1Patrick H. Warnke 1,4

1. Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Kiel 24098, Germany
2. University of Rostock, August-Bebelstr. 55, Rostock 18055, Germany
3. Epsom and St Helier University Hospital, University of London, London SM51AA, United Kingdom
4. Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast Queensland, Australia


Ideally, scaffolds used as bone replacement materials should fit the defect site exactly and have tailored porosity and pore size. Commonly used ceramic materials in general are not easily to form to individual patient needs. Using rapid prototyping methods, three-dimensional ceramic scaffolds of hydroxyapatite (HAP) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) have been produced with defined external shape and internal structure by sintering ceramic powder. These scaffolds also demonstrate microporosity due to gaps in the sintered particles. The goal of this study was to evaluate the in vitro biocompatibility of these new HAP and TCP scaffolds compared to the material BioOss®, which is widely used in oral and maxillofacial surgery. To this end, human osteoblasts were cultured in eluate from the aforementioned scaffolds and also seeded onto scaffolds directly.

Using commonly used biochemical tests (LDH, MTT, WST) and cell vitality assessment by fluorescence microscopy after staining with fluorescin diacetate (FDA) and propidium iodide (PI), it was found that the new ceramic HAP scaffolds produced by rapid prototyping have superior biocompatibility for osteoblasts than the material BioOss®. However, new ceramic TCP scaffolds produced by rapid prototyping appear to be less biocompatibile than BioOss®. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed colonisation and spreading of osteoblasts on HAP and TCP scaffolds. It can be concluded that HAP scaffolds in particular are biocompatible for use as bone substitute materials.


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Related papers

Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium L, by Timothy Douglas
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-05-30 18:06
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48