Freeze Extrusion Fabrication of 13-93 Bioactive Glass Scaffolds for Bone Repair


A solid freeform fabrication technique, freeze extrusion fabrication (FEF), was investigated for the creation of three-dimensional bioactive glass (13-93) scaffolds with pre-designed porosity and pore architecture. An aqueous mixture of bioactive glass particles and polymeric additives with a paste-like consistency was extruded through a narrow nozzle, and deposited layer-by-layer in a cold environment according to a computer-aided design (CAD) file. Following sublimation of the ice in a freeze dryer, the construct was heated according to a controlled schedule to burn out the polymeric additives (below ~500°C), and to densify the glass phase at higher temperature (1 h at 700°C). The sintered scaffolds had a gridlike microstructure of interconnected pores, with a porosity of ~50%, pore width of ~300 µm, and dense glass filaments (struts) with a diameter or width of ~300 µm. The scaffolds showed an elastic response during mechanical testing in compression, with an average compressive strength of 140 MPa and an elastic modulus of 5-6 GPa, comparable to the values for human cortical bone. These bioactive glass scaffolds created by the FEF method could have potential application in the repair of load-bearing bones.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Surfaces and Interfaces-Thin Films; Characterization and Evaluation of Materials; Metallic Materials; Polymer Sciences; Biomaterials; Ceramics-Glass-Composites-Natural Methods

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2011 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2011