Role of scaffold internal structure on in vivo bone formation in macroporous calcium phosphate bioceramics
Purpose of this study was the analysis of the role of density and pore interconnection pathway in scaffolds to be used as bone substitutes. We have considered 2 hydroxyapatite bioceramics with identical microstructure and different macro-porosity, pore size distribution and pore interconnection pathway. The scaffolds were obtained with two different procedures: (a) sponge matrix embedding (scaffold A), and (b) foaming (scaffold B). Bone ingrowth within the two bioceramics was obtained using an established model of in vivo bone formation by exogenously added osteoprogenitor cells. The histological analysis of specimens at different time after in vivo implantation revealed in both materials a significant extent of bone matrix deposition. Interestingly enough, scaffold B allowed a faster occurrence of bone tissue, reaching a steady state as soon as 4 weeks. Scaffold A on the other hand reached a comparable level of bone formation only after 8 weeks of in vivo implantation. Both scaffolds were well vascularised, but larger blood vessels were observed in scaffold A.Here we show that porosity and pore interconnection of osteoconductive scaffolds can influence the overall amount of bone deposition, the pattern of blood vessels invasion and finally the kinetics of the bone neoformation process.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 27, Issue 17, June 2006, Pages 3230–3237