3 years ago

3D printed calcium phosphate and poly(caprolactone) composites with improved mechanical properties and preserved microstructure

Danielle S.W. Benoit, Michael D. Hoffman, Hani Awad, Jason Inzana, Ryan P. Trombetta, Joseph B. Vella
Biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds formed via 3D printing technology to exhibit porosity and chemical resorbability to promote osseointegration often lack the strength and toughness required to withstand loading in bone tissue engineering applications. Herein, sintering and CaP:poly(caprolactone) (PCL) composite formation were explored to improve 3D printed scaffold strength and toughness. Hydroxyapatite and α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP) biphasic calcium powders were printed using phosphoric acid binder, which generated monetite and hydroxyapatite scaffolds. Upon sintering, evolution of β-TCP was observed along with an increase in flexural strength and modulus but no effect on fracture toughness was observed. Furthermore, scaffold porosity increased with sintering. Additionally, two techniques of PCL composite formation were employed: post-print precipitation and 3D print co-deposition to further augment scaffold mechanical properties. While both techniques significantly improved flexural strength, flexural modulus, and fracture toughness under most conditions explored, precipitation yielded more substantial increases in these properties, which is attributed to better continuity of the PCL phase. However, precipitation also compromised surface porosity due to PCL passivation of the calcium phosphate surface, which may subsequently hinder scaffold integration and bone regeneration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.36270

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