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Mechanical and cytotoxicity evaluation of nanostructured hydroxyapatite-bredigite scaffolds for bone regeneration

Despite the attractive characteristics of three-dimensional pure hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds, due to their weak mechanical properties, researches have focused on the development of composite scaffolds via introducing suitable secondary components. The aim of this study was to develop, for the first time, three-dimensional HA-bredigite (Ca7MgSi4O16) scaffolds containing various amounts of bredigite nanopowder (0, 5, 10 and 15 wt.%) using space holder technique. Transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy were applied in order to study the morphology, fracture surface and phase compositions of nanopowders and scaffolds. Furthermore, the effects of scaffold composition on the mechanical properties, bioactivity, biodegradability, and cytotoxicity were also evaluated. Results showed that the composite scaffolds with average pore size in the range of 220–310 μm, appearance porosity of 63.1–75.9% and appearance density of 1.1 ± 0.04 g/cm3 were successfully developed, depending on bredigite content. Indeed, the micropore size of the scaffolds reduced with increasing bredigite content confirming that the sinterability of the scaffolds was improved. Furthermore, the compression strength and modulus of the scaffolds significantly enhanced via incorporation of bredigite content from 0 to 15 wt.%. The composite scaffolds revealed superior bioactivity and biodegradability with increasing bredigite content. Moreover, MTT assay confirmed that HA-15 wt.% bredigite scaffold significantly promoted cell proliferation compared to tissue culture plate (control) and HA scaffold. Based on these results, three-dimensional HA-bredigite scaffolds could be promising replacements for HA scaffolds in bone regeneration.

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