Calcium phosphate blossom for bone tissue engineering
3D printing scaffolds
Vladimir K. Popov1,*, Vladimir S. Komlev2 and Boris N. Chichkov1,3 1 Institute of Laser and Information Technologies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia 2 A.A. Baikov Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia 3 Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Hannover, Germany The effective medical treatment of craniofacial and skeletal bone defects due to trauma, tumor removal or congenital abnormalities is a great challenge for reconstructive surgery. Biocompatible syn- thetic grafts and/or tissue engineering constructions based on cell-seeded scaffolds are the key elements required for success. For effective treatment, both the initial materials and the scaffold itself must meet the ‘‘golden standard’’ – autologous bone. This means that they must be biocompatible (possess low or preferably ‘‘zero’’ cytotoxicity), bioactive (initiate effective osteogenesis and neovas- cularization), bioresorbable (dissolve or degrade within the body with predetermined rate and by controllable manner) and have demanding mechanical characteristics. The particular requirement is that scaffolds must comprise interconnected porosity with specific surface functionalization of internal domains ensuring intensive osteoprogenitor cell attachment, proliferation and ingrowth, as well as nutrition and waste excretion. There are a wide variety of materials (ceramics, bioglasses, polymers and their combinations) and methods (salt leaching, gas foaming, spray and freeze drying, etc.) that can be used to achieve this target. The application of different versions of Rapid Prototyping or Additive Manufacturing (layer-by-layer fabrication of solid replicas of three-dimensional computer modelling of the required objects) techniques for the effective production of bone tissue engineering scaffolds based on bioactive ceramics is cur-rently considered one of the most advanced and attractive approaches. These techniques enable fast, reliable and reproduci- ble fabrication of custom-designed matrixes of almost any demanded shape and internal structure using CAD/CAM (Com-puter-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing) data. 3D-printing, where a liquid ‘‘ink’’ is binds together contours and layers of powder according to a sliced virtual model, unambigu-ously presents the most promising and cost-effective technology for R&D of new biomedical devices.