Optimization of Bioglass® Scaffold Fabrication Process
Abstract:The production of mechanically reliable scaffolds from bioceramics for use in bone tissue engineering remains challenging. This paper describes the establishment of optimal processing parameters of Bioglass® scaffolds using the replication/slurry‐dip‐coating technique, based on theoretical design and experimental investigation. The foams fabricated under the optimized conditions, i.e., 5–20 μm particles and sintering at 1000°C–1100°C for 1–2 h, showed reproducible mechanical properties that could be predicted by Gibson and Ashby's theory. Excessively small (nano‐sized) or overly large (>30 μm) particles both resulted in poor quality scaffolds with unsatisfactory mechanical performance, due to a high population of microcracks in struts and poor fusion between particles during sintering, respectively. In conclusion, a mechanically reliable scaffold can be achieved using Bioglass® and the replication/slurry‐dip‐coating technique, provided that the particle size of the Bioglass powder is within the range of 5–20 μm and an appropriate sintering program (1000°C–1100°C, 1–2 h) is used.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-12-01