Scaffolds with a standardized macro-architecture fabricated from several calcium phosphate ceramics using an indirect rapid prototyping technique

C.E. Wilson, C.A. van Blitterswijk, A.J. Verbout, W.J.A. Dhert, J.D. de Bruijn

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Calcium phosphate ceramics, commonly applied as bone graft substitutes, are a natural choice of scaffolding material for bone tissue engineering. Evidence shows that the chemical composition, macroporosity and microporosity of these ceramics influences their behavior as bone graft substitutes and bone tissue engineering scaffolds but little has been done to optimize these parameters. One method of optimization is to place focus on a particular parameter by normalizing the influence, as much as possible, of confounding parameters. This is difficult to accomplish with traditional fabrication techniques. In this study we describe a design based rapid prototyping method of manufacturing scaffolds with virtually identical macroporous architectures from different calcium phosphate ceramic compositions. Beta-tricalcium phosphate, hydroxyapatite (at two sintering temperatures) and biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds were manufactured. The macro- and micro-architectures of the scaffolds were characterized as well as the influence of the manufacturing method on the chemistries of the calcium phosphate compositions. The structural characteristics of the resulting scaffolds were remarkably similar. The manufacturing process had little influence on the composition of the materials except for the consistent but small addition of, or increase in, a beta-tricalcium phosphate phase. Among other applications, scaffolds produced by the method described provide a means of examining the influence of different calcium phosphate compositions while confidently excluding the influence of the macroporous structure of the scaffolds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • IR-80631
  • Sinter temperature
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Rapid prototype
  • Biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP)
  • Apparent porosity

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