Background: Calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramics are one of the most valuable biomaterials for uses as the bone scaffold owing to their outstanding biocompatability, bioactivity, and biodegradation nature. In particular, these materials with an open porous structure can stimulate bone ingrowth into their 3-dimensionally interconnected pores. However, the creation of pores in bulk materials would inevitably cause a severe reduction in mechanical properties. Thus, it is a challenge to explore new ways of improving the mechanical properties of porous CaP scaffolds without scarifying their high porosity.
Results: Porous CaP ceramic scaffolds with aligned pores were successfully produced using ceramic/camphene-based co-extrusion. This aligned porous structure allowed for the achievement of high compressive strength when tested parallel to the direction of aligned pores. In addition, the overall porosity and mechanical properties of the aligned porous CaP ceramic scaffolds could be tailored simply by adjusting the initial CaP content in the CaP/camphene slurry. The porous CaP scaffolds showed excellent in vitro biocompatibility, suggesting their potential as the bone scaffold.
Conclusions: Aligned porous CaP ceramic scaffolds with considerably enhanced mechanical properties and tailorable porosity would find very useful applications as the bone scaffold.
Keywords: Bone regeneration; Calcium phosphate; Pores; Porous materials; Scaffold.