Preparation of porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds by combination of the gel-casting and polymer sponge methods

Principal Investigator: Miqin Zhang

Typically, porous tissue engineering scaffolds for use in growing bone have failed to achieve the mechanical strength of bone. Conversely, it has been difficult to create scaffolds using stronger materials that also possess the appropriate porous architecture that promotes cellular in-growth. With the methods described herein, it is now possible to capture the attributes of natural bone tissue.

A combination of methods has been used to fabricate a ceramic porous scaffold that mimics the physical and structural properties on native cancellous bone. A material has been created that balances these two traits. Chitosan-hydroxyapatite hybrids have enhanced loading properties as well as sufficient porosity to promote the attachment and growth of bone cells in vitro. A new technique of combining the gel casting and polymer sponge methods is introduced in this study to prepare macroporous hydroxyapatite scaffolds, which provides a better control over the microstructures of scaffolds and enhances their mechanical properties.

This technology can be used to prepare living bone equivalents, following seeding and growth of bone cells. It can also be used as a repair biomaterial to heal difficult bone lesions such as high-impact fractures and loss of entire bone segments. The chief advantage of this technology is that both the appropriate porous architecture and mechanical stability of engineered bone tissue can be controlled.

For more info, contact: Lisa Norton

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