Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications

Bioactive polymeric-ceramic hybrid 3D scaffold for application in bone tissue regeneration.

PMID 23910366


The regeneration of large bone defects remains a challenging scenario from a therapeutic point of view. In fact, the currently available bone substitutes are often limited by poor tissue integration and severe host inflammatory responses, which eventually lead to surgical removal. In an attempt to address these issues, herein we evaluated the importance of alginate incorporation in the production of improved and tunable β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and hydroxyapatite (HA) three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds to be used as temporary templates for bone regeneration. Different bioceramic combinations were tested in order to investigate optimal scaffold architectures. Additionally, 3D β-TCP/HA vacuum-coated with alginate, presented improved compressive strength, fracture toughness and Young's modulus, to values similar to those of native bone. The hybrid 3D polymeric-bioceramic scaffolds also supported osteoblast adhesion, maturation and proliferation, as demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a 3D scaffold produced with this combination of biomaterials is described. Altogether, our results emphasize that this hybrid scaffold presents promising characteristics for its future application in bone regeneration.