Robocasting Bone Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration

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Bioglass is a highly bioactive bioceramic that is composed of 46.1 mol% SiO2, 26.9 mol% CaO, 24.4 mol% Na2O, and 2.6 mol% P2O5. There are many applications of Bioglass, such as implants for bone regrowth and for correcting bone defects. Several methods for creating a bone scaffold for bone tissue regeneration have been reported, but the most conventional method is foam replication. However, foam replicated scaffolds have limitations in their mechanical strength. This report will focus on robocasting (direct ink writing) a designed Bioglass ink as an improved method of forming a bone scaffold. The printing ink consisted of varying amounts of 45S5 Bioglass powder, water and carboxymethyl cellulose to ensure the required rheological properties for the ease of ink extrusion and integrity of 3D structures after printing. Thermal treatment of the printed green body is required to remove the carboxymethyl cellulose at 400 ᵒC. The debined scaffolds were then sintered to increase the mechanical strength and condense the microstructures. Sintered scaffolds were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope to study the microstructures. Biocompatibility and mechanical testing are required for future testing to determine if the printed scaffolds could be functional for bone tissue regeneration.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Bioglass, Robocasting, Materials science