Multiscale porosity in mesoporous bioglass 3D-printed scaffolds for bone regeneration.

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In order to increase the bone forming ability of MBG-PCL composite scaffold, microporosity was created in the struts of 3D-printed MBG-PCL scaffolds for the manufacturing of a construct with a multiscale porosity consisting of meso- micro- and macropores. 3D-printing imparted macroporosity while the microporosity was created by porogen removal from the struts, and the MBG particles were responsible for the mesoporosity. The scaffolds were 3D-printed using a mixture of PCL, MBG and phosphate buffered saline (PBS) particles, subsequently leached out. Microporous-PCL (pPCL) as a negative control, microporous MBG-PCL (pMBG-PCL) and non- microporous-MBG-PCL (MBG-PCL) were investigated. Scanning electron microscopy, mercury intrusion poros-imetry and micro-computed tomography demonstrated that the PBS removal resulted in the formation of mi-cropores inside the struts with porosity of around 30% for both pPCL and pMBG-PCL, with both constructs displaying an overall porosity of 8090%. In contrast, the MBG-PCL group had a microporosity of 6% and an overall porosity of 70%. Early mineralisation was found in the pMBG-PCL post-leaching out and this resulted in the formation a more homogeneous calcium phosphate layer when using a biomimetic mineralisation assay. Mechanical properties ranged from 5 to 25 MPa for microporous and non-microporous specimens, hence microporosity was the determining factor affecting compressive properties. MC3T3-E1 metabolic activity was increased in the pMBG-PCL along with an increased production of RUNX2. Therefore, the microporosity within a 3D-printed bioceramic composite construct may result in additional physical and biological benefits.
RESEARCHER ID L-6167-2014 (Daniel Arcos Navarrete) ORCID 0000-0002-5367-7272 (Daniel Arcos Navarrete) RESEARCHER ID M-3378-2014 (María Vallet Regí) ORCID 0000-0002-6104-4889 (María Vallet Regí)
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