Freeze casting of hydroxyapatite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

Biomaterials. 2006 Nov;27(32):5480-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.06.028. Epub 2006 Jul 20.


Although extensive efforts have been put into the development of porous scaffolds for bone regeneration, with encouraging results, all porous materials have a common limitation: the inherent lack of strength associated with porosity. Hence, the development of porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds has been hindered to non-load bearing applications. We report here how freeze casting can be applied to synthesize porous scaffolds exhibiting unusually high compressive strength, e.g. up to 145 MPa for 47% porosity and 65 MPa for 56% porosity. The materials are characterized by well-defined pore connectivity along with directional and completely open porosity. Various parameters affecting the porosity and compressive strength have been investigated, including initial slurry concentration, freezing rate, and sintering conditions. The implications and potential application as bone substitute are discussed. These results might open the way for hydroxyapatite-based materials designed for load-bearing applications. The biological response of these materials is yet to be tested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones* / ultrastructure
  • Cold Temperature
  • Durapatite / chemistry*
  • Freezing
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Porosity
  • Tensile Strength
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Durapatite