3D printing bioceramic porous scaffolds with good mechanical property and cell affinity

Chih Hao Chang, Chih Yang Lin, Fwu Hsing Liu, Mark Hung Chih Chen, Chun Pin Lin, Hong Nerng Ho, Yunn Shiuan Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial bone grafting is widely used in current orthopedic surgery for bone defect problems. Unfortunately, surgeons remain unsatisfied with the current commercially available products. One of the major complaints is that these products cannot provide sufficient mechanical strength to support the human skeletal structure. In this study, we aimed to develop a bone scaffold with better mechanical property and good cell affinity by 3D printing (3DP) techniques. A self-developed 3D printer with laser-aided gelling (LAG) process was used to fabricate bioceramic scaffolds with inter-porous structures. To improve the mechanical property of the bioceramic parts after heating, CaCO3 was added to the silica ceramic slurry. CaCO3 was blended into a homogenous SiO2-sol dispersion at weight ratios varying from 0/100 to 5/95 to 9/91 (w/w). Bi-component CaCO3/SiO2-sol was prepared as a biocomposite for the 3DP scaffold. The well-mixed biocomposite was used to fabricate the bioceramic green part using the LAG method. The varied scaffolds were sintered at different temperatures ranging from 900 to 1500°C, and the mechanical property was subsequently analyzed. The scaffolds showed good property with the composite ratio of 5:95 CaCO3:SiO2 at a sintering temperature of 1300°C. The compressive strength was 47 MPa, and the porosity was 34%. The topography of the sintered 3DP bioceramic scaffold was examined by SEM, EDS and XRD. The silica bioceramic presented no cytotoxicity and good MG-63 osteoblast- like cell affinity, demonstrating good biocompatibility. Therefore, the new silica biocomposite is viable for fabricating 3DP bone bioceramics with improved mechanical property and good cell affinity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0143713
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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