Fabrication of strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite scaffolds using 3D printing for enhanced bone regeneration
Hyun-Woo Kim & Young-Jin Kim
The use of porous three-dimensional (3D) bioceramic scaffolds to facilitate the regeneration of bone defects has attracted great attention because their structures closely mimic the natural extracellular matrix. 3D printing is a versatile method for the fabrication of 3D scaffolds. In this study, 3D strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite (Sr-HA) bioceramic scaffolds were prepared by simple precipitation and 3D printing method. The resulting scaffolds exhibited interconnected microporous structures of strands and a single-phase crystal due to HA, meaning that no changes in the phase composition and microstructure of the scaffolds with the Sr content were observed. However, their dissolution rate and biological performance were substantially influenced by changes in the Sr content of the scaffolds. The optimal Sr content in the Sr-HA scaffolds for enhanced proliferation and differentiation of cells were identified by comparing four compositions of the Sr-HA scaffolds. The results of in vitro bioactivity tests demonstrated that the Sr5-HA scaffold with 0.05 of Sr/(Ca + Sr) molar ratio promoted more rapid cell proliferation, osteogenic differentiation, and cellular mineralization compared with the other scaffolds. Therefore, Sr-HA scaffolds have the potential for application in bone regeneration as new bone graft substitutes.