In Vitro Assessment of Laser Sintered Bioactive Glass Scaffolds with Different Pore Geometries


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to utilize the selective laser sintering (SLS) process to fabricate scaffolds with complex pore shapes and investigate the effects of pore geometry in vitro. The pore geometry of scaffolds intended for use in bone repair is one of the most important parameters used to determine the rate of bone regeneration. Design/methodology/approach - Scaffolds with five different architectures, having approximately 50 per cent porosity, were fabricated with silicate (13-93) and borate (13-93B3)-based bioactive glasses using the SLS process. An established late-osteoblasts/early-osteocytes cell line was used to perform cell proliferation tests on the scaffolds. The cell-seeded scaffolds were incubated for two, four and six days followed by MTT assay to quantify the metabolically active cells. Findings - The results indicated that the cells proliferate significantly more on the scaffolds which mimic the trabecular bone architecture compared to traditional lattice structures. The surface roughness of the SLS-fabricated scaffolds drives the initial cell proliferation which is followed by curvature-driven cell proliferation. Originality/value - There have been very few studies on the effects of pore geometry on tissue growth and the existing reports do not provide clear indications. Instead of using bio-polymer or titanium-based scaffolds, we use bioactive glass scaffolds. The results obtained from this study add to the understanding of the effect of pore geometry on cell proliferation, which is based on the experimental data and analysis of the scaffolds' surface curvature.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bioactive glass; Biological analysis and testing; Bone repair; Scaffold; Selective laser sintering; 3D printers; Bone; Cell culture; Cell proliferation; Cytology; Digital storage; Geometry; Laser heating; Repair; Silicate; Sintering; Surface roughness

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Article - Journal

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© 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2015