Pore size and connectivity of artificial bone scaffolds play key role in regulating cell ingrowth and vascularization during healing. The objective of this study was to develop a novel process for preparing 3D pore-interconnected open-cell bone substitutes with varying pore sizes. This was achieved by thermal-induced expansion, drying, then sintering the mixture of biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) and a thermal responsive porogen comprising chitosan (CS) and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC). The interpolymer complexes (IPCs) of CS/HPMC were prepared and investigated by FT-IR. The mixtures of IPCs/BCP were heated up to 100 °C for analyzing their thermal expansion properties. This resulted in ~13% and ~42% volume increment for IPC-1/BCP and IPC-2/BCP, respectively, while ~230% volume increased in the case of IPC-3/BCP (therefore chosen for sintering bone blocks). Heating rate-dependent (0.20–0.25 °C/min range) sintering profiles for IPC-3/BCP were utilized to produce BCP bone blocks. Gasification of IPC during sintering resulted in the formation of interconnected porous structures, and the morphology was investigated by SEM, revealing varying sizes ranging from 106 ± 13 μm to 1123 ± 75 μm. The pore size range of bone blocks from 235 ± 46 μm to 459 ± 76 μm portrayed significantly high MC3T3-E1 cell viability with prominent filopodial extensions, and elongated cells, depicting efficient biocompatibility. Therefore, the process for preparing porous interconnected 3D bone blocks were feasible, thereby serving as an alternative for potential bone tissue engineering applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas