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Materials 2014, 7(5), 3588-3622; doi:10.3390/ma7053588

Fabrication of Metallic Biomedical Scaffolds with the Space Holder Method: A Review

*  and *
Biomaterials Technology Section, Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft, The Netherlands
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 10 April 2014 / Accepted: 18 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Alloys and Their Applications)
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Bone tissue engineering has been increasingly studied as an alternative approach to bone defect reconstruction. In this approach, new bone cells are stimulated to grow and heal the defect with the aid of a scaffold that serves as a medium for bone cell formation and growth. Scaffolds made of metallic materials have preferably been chosen for bone tissue engineering applications where load-bearing capacities are required, considering the superior mechanical properties possessed by this type of materials to those of polymeric and ceramic materials. The space holder method has been recognized as one of the viable methods for the fabrication of metallic biomedical scaffolds. In this method, temporary powder particles, namely space holder, are devised as a pore former for scaffolds. In general, the whole scaffold fabrication process with the space holder method can be divided into four main steps: (i) mixing of metal matrix powder and space-holding particles; (ii) compaction of granular materials; (iii) removal of space-holding particles; (iv) sintering of porous scaffold preform. In this review, detailed procedures in each of these steps are presented. Technical challenges encountered during scaffold fabrication with this specific method are addressed. In conclusion, strategies are yet to be developed to address problematic issues raised, such as powder segregation, pore inhomogeneity, distortion of pore sizes and shape, uncontrolled shrinkage and contamination.
Keywords: tissue engineering; scaffold; space holder method; powder metallurgy; titanium tissue engineering; scaffold; space holder method; powder metallurgy; titanium
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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Arifvianto, B.; Zhou, J. Fabrication of Metallic Biomedical Scaffolds with the Space Holder Method: A Review. Materials 2014, 7, 3588-3622.

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