Acta biomaterialia

Printability of calcium phosphate powders for three-dimensional printing of tissue engineering scaffolds.

PMID 21925623


Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is a versatile method to produce scaffolds for tissue engineering. In 3DP the solid is created by the reaction of a liquid selectively sprayed onto a powder bed. Despite the importance of the powder properties, there has to date been a relatively poor understanding of the relation between the powder properties and the printing outcome. This article aims at improving this understanding by looking at the link between key powder parameters (particle size, flowability, roughness, wettability) and printing accuracy. These powder parameters are determined as key factors with a predictive value for the final 3DP outcome. Promising results can be expected for mean particle size in the range of 20-35 μm, compaction rate in the range of 1.3-1.4, flowability in the range of 5-7 and powder bed surface roughness of 10-25 μm. Finally, possible steps and strategies in pushing the physical limits concerning improved quality in 3DP are addressed and discussed.