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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Bioactive Glass-Ceramic Scaffolds from Novel ‘Inorganic Gel Casting’ and Sinter-Crystallization

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy
Ceramics Department, National Research Centre, El-Bohous Street, Cairo 12622, Egypt
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Universiy of Padova, via Ugo Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padova, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew J. Ruys and Jérôme Chevalier
Materials 2017, 10(2), 171;
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramics 2016)
Highly porous wollastonite-diopside glass-ceramics have been successfully obtained by a new gel-casting technique. The gelation of an aqueous slurry of glass powders was not achieved according to the polymerization of an organic monomer, but as the result of alkali activation. The alkali activation of a Ca-Mg silicate glass (with a composition close to 50 mol % wollastonite—50 mol % diopside, with minor amounts of Na2O and P2O5) allowed for the obtainment of well-dispersed concentrated suspensions, undergoing progressive hardening by curing at low temperature (40 °C), owing to the formation of a C–S–H (calcium silicate hydrate) gel. An extensive direct foaming was achieved by vigorous mechanical stirring of partially gelified suspensions, comprising also a surfactant. The open-celled structure resulting from mechanical foaming could be ‘frozen’ by the subsequent sintering treatment, at 900–1000 °C, causing substantial crystallization. A total porosity exceeding 80%, comprising both well-interconnected macro-pores and micro-pores on cell walls, was accompanied by an excellent compressive strength, even above 5 MPa. View Full-Text
Keywords: alkali activation; gel casting; bioactivity; wollastonite; diopside; glass-ceramics alkali activation; gel casting; bioactivity; wollastonite; diopside; glass-ceramics
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Elsayed, H.; Rincón Romero, A.; Ferroni, L.; Gardin, C.; Zavan, B.; Bernardo, E. Bioactive Glass-Ceramic Scaffolds from Novel ‘Inorganic Gel Casting’ and Sinter-Crystallization. Materials 2017, 10, 171.

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