Ana S. NETO, Jose M.F. FERREIRA, Doped calcium phosphate scaffolds obtained by robocasting from hydrothermally synthesized powders, Advanced Nano-Bio-Materials and Devices; 2018:2(4):301-315

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Additive manufacturing techniques like robocasting have a great potential for the fabrication of scaffolds for bone regeneration and tissue engineering. The goal of this study was to produce undoped and ion (Sr2+ and Mg2+) doped biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds by robocasting. The powders were prepared by hydrothermal synthesis (150ºC, 4 h), calcined at 1000ºC, and then deagglomerated to get an appropriate particle size distribution (PSD). High solid loading aqueous suspensions were then prepared from the milled powders and their rheological properties were optimized to confer them the desired viscoelastic properties for 3D printing. Porous scaffolds with different pore dimensions (300 x 300; 500 x 500; 250 x 500 and 300 x 600 µm) were fabricated by depositing paste filaments with 410 µm diameter according to previously defined CAD models. The green scaffolds were firstly dried and then the organic additives were removed by a heat treatment at 600ºC. Sintering was carried out at 1100ºC. The compressive strength of the scaffolds was within the range of the cancellous bone mechanical properties, being intrinsically related with the size of macro- and micro-pores. In addition, all the scaffolds compositions exhibited good in vitro bio-mineralization capacity. Overall, the obtained scaffolds revealed attractive properties for their application in bone tissue engineering.