Porosity is recognized to play a key role in dictating the functional properties of bioactive scaffolds, especially the mechanical performance of the material. The mechanical suitability of brittle ceramic and glass scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications is usually evaluated on the basis of the compressive strength alone, which is relatively easy to assess. This work aims to investigate the porosity dependence of the elastic properties of silicate scaffolds based on the 45S5 composition. Highly porous glass–ceramic foams were fabricated by the sponge replica method and their elastic modulus, shear modulus, and Poisson’s ratio were experimentally determined by the impulse excitation technique; furthermore, the failure strength was quantified by compressive tests. As the total fractional porosity increased from 0.52 to 0.86, the elastic and shear moduli decreased from 16.5 to 1.2 GPa and from 6.5 to 0.43 GPa, respectively; the compressive strength was also found to decrease from 3.4 to 0.58 MPa, whereas the Poisson’s ratio increased from 0.2692 to 0.3953. The porosity dependences of elastic modulus, shear modulus and compressive strength obeys power-law models, whereas the relationship between Poisson’s ratio and porosity can be described by a linear approximation. These relations can be useful to optimize the design and fabrication of porous biomaterials as well as to predict the mechanical properties of the scaffolds.
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