Characterization of fabricated three dimensional scaffolds of bioceramic-polymer composite via microstereolithography technique
Microstereolithography is a method used for rapid prototyping of polymeric and ceramic components. This technique converts a computer-aided design (CAD) to a three dimensional (3D) model, and enables layer per layer fabrication curing a liquid resin with UV-light or laser source. The aim of this project was to formulate photocurable polymer reinforced with synthesized calcium pyrophosphate (CPP), and to fabricate a 3D scaffolds with optimum mechanical properties for specific tissue engineering applications. The photocurable ceramic suspension was prepared with acrylate polyester, multifunctional acrylate monomer with the addition of 50-70wt% of CPP, photoinitiators and photoinhibitors. The 3D structure of disc (5 mm height × 4 mm diameter) was successfully fabricated using Envisiontec Perfactory3® . They were then sintered at high temperature for polymer removal, to obtain a ceramic of the desired porosity. The density increased to more than 35% and the dimensional shrinkage after sintering were 33%. The discs were then subjected compressive measurement, biodegradation and bioactivity test. Morphology and CPP content of the sintered polymer was investigated with SEM and XRD, respectively. The addition of CPP coupled with high temperature sintering, had a significant effect on the compressive strength exhibited by the bioceramic. The values are in the range of cancellous bone (2-4 MPa). In biodegradation and bioactivity test, the synthesized CPP induced the formation of apatite layer and its nucleation onto the composite surface.