This paper demonstrates the utility of coextrusion-based 3D plotting of ceramic pastes (CoEx-3DP) as a new type of additive manufacturing (AM) technique, which can produce porous calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramic scaffolds comprised of hollow CaP filaments. In this technique, green filaments with a controlled core/shell structure can be produced by coextruding an initial feedrod, comprised of the carbon black (CB) core and CaP shell, through a fine nozzle in an acetone bath and then deposited in a controlled manner according to predetermined paths. In addition, channels in CaP filaments can be created through the removal of the CB cores during heat-treatment. Produced CaP scaffolds had two different types of pores with well-defined geometries: three-dimensionally interconnected pores (~360 × 230 μm2
in sizes) and channels (>100 μm in diameter) in hollow CaP filaments. The porous scaffolds showed high compressive strengths of ~12.3 ± 2.2 MPa at a high porosity of ~73 vol % when compressed parallel to the direction of the hollow CaP filaments. In addition, the mechanical properties of porous CaP scaffolds could be tailored by adjusting their porosity, for example, compressive strengths of 4.8 ± 1.1 MPa at a porosity of ~82 vol %. The porous CaP scaffold showed good biocompatibility, which was assessed by in vitro cell tests, where several the cells adhered to and spread actively with the outer and inner surfaces of the hollow CaP filaments.
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