Due to growing clinical needs, artificial bonegrafts known as scaffolds based on bioactive materials have been developed. Several efforts have been made by the scientific community in order to eliminate the drawbacks associated with the use of autografts (harvested from the patient itself). Scaffolds are temporary matrices which act as a substrate for bone ingrowth, accelerating its regeneration. Scaffolds have many applications in distinct areas as orthopedics and dentistry. The main purpose of this project is the development of bioactive glass-ceramic scaffolds by three-dimensional technologies exhibiting macroporosity higher than 50%, with interconnected pores with diameter above 300 µm, using Biosilicate® and a glass composition designated as F18 as starting materials. Biosilicate® is a fully crystalline glass-ceramic of the Na2O-CaO-SiO2-P2O5 system, developed by the Vitreous Materials Laboratory (LaMaV) of DEMa-UFSCar. This material has been studied and its high bioactivity level has been proved in several articles. For scaffold fabrication two different techniques of rapid prototyping will be employed: 3D printing and selective laser sintering (SLS). We intend to develop specific processing additives for this type of powder. Also, we intend to compare the scaffolds obtained by both techniques regarding: reachable macroporosity, intrinsic porosity and mechanical strength, as well as explore the resolution limits of each technique, and establish their advantages and disadvantages. The new challenges on the development of scaffolds are directed to the use of materials that show high bioactivity and anti-microbial activity, as in the case of some especial glass-ceramics such as Biosilicate®. This justifies our interest in a research that may contribute for knowledge construction and new technological developments in this field.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: