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Comparative Characterisation of 3-D Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Developed Via Replication of Synthetic Polymer Foams and Natural Marine Sponges | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7552

Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering
Open Access

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Research Article

Comparative Characterisation of 3-D Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Developed Via Replication of Synthetic Polymer Foams and Natural Marine Sponges

E. Cunningham1*, N. Dunne1, S. Clarke2, Seong Ying Choi1, G. Walker3, R. Wilcox4, R. E. Unger5, F. Buchanan1 and C.J. Kirkpatrick1

1School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, Ashby Institute, Belfast, BT9 5AH, UK

2School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast, UK

3School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, David Keir Institute, Belfast, UK

4School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

5Institute of Pathology, University Medical Center, REPAIR Lab, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Langenbeckstr. 1, Mainz 55101, Germany

Corresponding Author:
Cunningham E
School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Queen’s University of Belfast, Ashby Building
Stranmillis Road, BT9 5AH, Belfast, UK.2
Tel: +442890 974236
Email: [email protected]

Received date: June 01, 2011; Accepted date: July 20, 2011; Published date: July 22, 2011

Citation: Cunningham E, Dunne N, Clarke S, Choi SY, Walker G, et al. (2011) Comparative Characterisation of 3-D Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Developed Via Replication of Synthetic Polymer Foams and Natural Marine Sponges. J Tissue Sci Eng S1:001. doi:10.4172/2157-7552.S1-001

Copyright: © 2011 Cunningham E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The production of complex inorganic forms, based on naturally occurring scaffolds offers an exciting avenue for the construction of a new generation of ceramic-based bone substitute scaffolds. The following study reports an investigation into the architecture (porosity, pore size distribution, pore interconnectivity and permeability), mechanical properties and cytotoxic response of hydroxyapatite bone substitutes produced using synthetic polymer foam and natural marine sponge performs. Infiltration of polyurethane foam (60 pores/in2) using a high solid content (80wt %), low viscosity (0.126Pas) hydroxyapatite slurry yielded 84-91% porous replica scaffolds with pore sizes ranging from 50?m - 1000?m (average pore size 577?m), 99.99% pore interconnectivity and a permeability value of 46.4 x10-10m2. Infiltration of the natural marine sponge, Spongia agaricina , yielded scaffolds with 56- 61% porosity, with 40% of pores between 0-50?m, 60% of pores between 50-500?m (average pore size 349 ?m), 99.9% pore interconnectivity and a permeability value of 16.8 x10-10m2. The average compressive strengths and compressive moduli of the natural polymer foam and marine sponge replicas were 2.46±1.43MPa/0.099±0.014GPa and 8.4±0.83MPa /0.16±0.016GPa respectively. Cytotoxic response proved encouraging for the HA Spongia agaricina scaffolds; after 7 days in culture medium the scaffolds exhibited endothelial cells (HUVEC and HDMEC) and osteoblast (MG63) attachment, proliferation on the scaffold surface and penetration into the pores. It is proposed that the use of Spongia agaricina as a precursor material allows for the reliable and repeatable production of ceramic-based 3-D tissue engineered scaffolds exhibiting the desired architectural and mechanical characteristics for use as a bone 3 scaffold material. Moreover, the Spongia agaricina scaffolds produced exhibit no adverse cytotoxic response.

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