Structure degradation and strength changes of sintered calcium phosphate bone scaffolds with different phase structures during simulated biodegradation in vitro.


CEITEC BUT, Brno University of Technology, Purkynova 123, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic; Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Technicka 2, 616 69 Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address: [Email]


The structure degradation and strength changes of calcium phosphate scaffolds after long-term exposure to an acidic environment simulating the osteoclastic activity were determined and compared. Sintered calcium phosphate scaffolds with different phase structures were prepared with a similar cellular pore structure and an open porosity of over 80%. Due to microstructural features the biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds had a higher compressive strength of 1.7 MPa compared with the hydroxyapatite (HA) and β-tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffolds, which exhibited a similar strength of 1.2 MPa. After exposure to an acidic buffer solution of pH = 5.5, the strength of the HA scaffolds did not change over 14 days. On the other hand, the strength of the TCP scaffolds decreased steeply in the first 2 days and reached a negligible value of 0.09 MPa after 14 days. The strength of the BCP scaffolds showed a steady decrease with a reasonable value of 0.5 MPa after 14 days. The mass loss, phase composition and microstructural changes of the scaffolds during degradation in the acidic environment were investigated and a mechanism of scaffold degradation was proposed. The BCP scaffold showed the best cell response in the in vitro tests. The BCP scaffold structure with the highly soluble phase (α-TCP) embedded in a less soluble matrix (β-TCP/HA) exhibited a controllable degradation with a suitable strength stability and with beneficial biological behavior it represented the preferred calcium phosphate structure for a resorbable bone scaffold.


Calcium phosphate,Cell response,Compressive strength,Degradation,Phase composition,Scaffold,

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