Melt-derived bioactive glass scaffolds produced by a gel-cast foaming technique

Zoe Y. Wu, Robert G. Hill, Sheng Yue, Donovan Nightingale, Peter D. Lee, Julian R. Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Porous melt-derived bioactive glass scaffolds with interconnected pore networks suitable for bone regeneration were produced without the glass crystallizing. ICIE 16 (49.46% SiO2, 36.27% CaO, 6.6% Na 2O, 1.07% P2O5 and 6.6% K2O, in mol.%) was used as it is a composition designed not to crystallize during sintering. Glass powder was made into porous scaffolds by using the gel-cast foaming technique. All variables in the process were investigated systematically to devise an optimal process. Interconnect size was quantified using mercury porosimetry and X-ray microtomography (μCT). The reagents, their relative quantities and thermal processing protocols were all critical to obtain a successful scaffold. Particularly important were particle size (a modal size of 8 μm was optimal); water and catalyst content; initiator vitality and content; as well as the thermal processing protocol. Once an optimal process was chosen, the scaffolds were tested in simulated body fluid (SBF) solution. Amorphous calcium phosphate formed in 8 h and crystallized hydroxycarbonate apatite (HCA) formed in 3 days. The compressive strength was approximately 2 MPa for a mean interconnect size of 140 μm between the pores with a mean diameter of 379 μm, which is thought to be a suitable porous network for vascularized bone regeneration. This material has the potential to bond to bone more rapidly and stimulate more bone growth than current porous artificial bone grafts. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1807-1816
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa Biomaterialia
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • Artificial bone graft
    • Bioactive glass
    • Bone tissue regeneration
    • Gel-casting
    • Porous scaffolds


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