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Materials 2011, 4(2), 339-354; doi:10.3390/ma4020339

A New Highly Bioactive Composite for Scaffold Applications: A Feasibility Study

*  and
Dipartimento di Ingegneria dei Materiali e dell’Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Vignolese 905, 41125 Modena, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2010 / Revised: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 26 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue Engineering Scaffolds)
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Hydroxyapatite (HA) has been widely investigated as scaffolding material for bone tissue engineering, mainly for its excellent biocompatibility. Presently, there is an increasing interest in the composites of hydroxyapatite with bioactive glasses, with the aim to obtain systems with improved bioactivity or mechanical properties. Moreover, modifying the ratio between bioactive glass and hydroxyapatite results in the possibility of controlling the reaction rate of the composite scaffold in the human body. However, high temperature treatments are usually required in order to sinter HA-based composites, causing the bioactive glass to crystallize into a glass-ceramic, with possible negative effects on its bioactivity. In the present research work, a glass composition belonging to the Na2O-CaO-P2O5-SiO2 system, with a reduced tendency to crystallize, is applied to realize HA-based composites. The novel samples can be sintered at a relative low temperature (750 °C) compared to the widely studied HA/45S5 Bioglass® composites. This fact greatly helps to preserve the amorphous nature of the glass, with excellent effects in terms of bioactivity, according to in vitro tests. As a first application, the obtained composites are also tested to realize highly porous scaffolds by means of the standard burning out method.
Keywords: composites; hydroxyapatite; bioactive glasses; scaffolds composites; hydroxyapatite; bioactive glasses; scaffolds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bellucci, D.; Cannillo, V.; Sola, A. A New Highly Bioactive Composite for Scaffold Applications: A Feasibility Study. Materials 2011, 4, 339-354.

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