Non-resorable scaffold for bone engineering
About the project
Bone tissue engineering offers an alternative strategy for restoring damaged, diseased, and resorbed bone tissue. In this approach, natural bone tissue is generated from osteogenic cells to replace the missing tissue with the aid of an ultraporous three-dimensional scaffold. For the repair and regeneration of bone tissue, the 3D scaffold structure must provide bone forming cells a substrate to attach to and allow the newly formed tissue adequate space for growth. Hence, highly porous scaffolds with high surface-to-volume ratio are necessary for bone tissue engineering applications. A large surface area-to-volume ratio assists cell attachment and growth and is therefore necessary in order to achieve a high cell density within the scaffold, whereas a large interconnected pore volume is required in order to allow bone cells to migrate into and subsequently proliferate within the scaffold interior.
Together with the physical properties of the scaffold material, the pore architecture also determines the mechanical properties of the 3D scaffold structure. A bone scaffold construct should match as closely as possible the mechanical properties of natural bone and provide sufficient support for the repair site in a load-bearing environment. Because increased porosity and pore size result in reduced mechanical properties and, consequently, diminish the structural integrity of the scaffold, there is a practical upper limit for the porosity and the pore size that can be tolerated.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a biocompatible material, which has also been reported to have bioactive properties. Ceramic TiO2 is therefore a promising material for scaffolds for tissue engineering purposes. Fabrication of highly porous TiO2 scaffolds with an interconnected pore network and the ability to promote osteoprogenitor cell attachment, growth and differentiation have previously been discussed. However, the scaffolds that have previously been tested have had a limited mechanical strength and thus inadequate properties for serving as a permanent scaffold material for skeletal applications. Furthermore, differences have been found in the cytotoxicity of different TiO2 sources available for use in the fabrication of such scaffolds.
The project was initiated in 2006 and has received funding from industry partners, the EU EuroStar program, The Norwegian Research Council and UiO.
- Marta Monjo, PhD, Department of Fundamental Biology and Health Sciences, Research Institute on Health Sciences (IUNICS), University of Balearic Islands,
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- Manuela Gomez, PhD, 3B's Research Group in Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics