UC San Diego
Composite bone substitutes prepared by two methods
- Author(s): Lee, Hoe Yun
- Lee, Hoe Yun
- et al.
A variety of ceramics and polymers exists that can be used as bone substitute materials with desirable properties such as biocompatibility and osteoconductivity. A key feature missing in these bone substitutes, or scaffolds, is the ability to bear loads. This work explored two methods for solving this problem. The first used cancellous bone taken from bovine femoral bone to create a natural scaffold through a heat treating process that eliminated the organic components and sintered the bone minerals, known as hydroxyapatite, together. The strength and Young's modulus of the natural scaffold were greatly improved after polymer infiltration with polymethylmethacrylate. Unfortunately, compression testing revealed that there was not a good interfacial bond between the mineral and polymer phases. The second method employed a freeze-casting technique to create synthetic hydroxyapatite scaffolds that have an aligned lamellar microstructure. By varying the amount of hydroxyapatite in the initial slurry mixture and the cooling rate, synthetic scaffolds with a range of porosities and strengths was produced. The highest solid loading and fastest cooling rate produced a scaffold with a strength and modulus approaching that of cortical bone. Further study is required to produce a two phase composite that is chemically bonded together for optimal performance. The synthetic scaffolds, with their tunable mechanical properties and ease of fabrication, make them a promising material for a load-bearing bone substitute