Tissue engineering is a technique that involves the in vitro seeding and attachment of cells onto a three-dimensional scaffold. In the case of bone tissue engineering, investigations have been focused mostly on synthetic bioceramic scaffolds based on calcium phosphates, such as hydroxyapatite or tricalcium phosphate. Due to their chemical similarity to an inorganic component of bone, hydroxyapatite, as well as βTCP- and αTCP-based materials, show excellent biocompatibility and osteoconductivity.
Implantations in orthopedics are associated with a high risk of bacterial infections in the surgery area. Therefore, biomaterials containing antibacterial agents, such as antibiotics, bactericidal ions or nanoparticles have been intensively investigated. In this work, silver decorated β tricalcium phosphate (βTCP)-based porous scaffolds were obtained and coated with a biopolymer—poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)-P(3HB). To the best of our knowledge, studies using silver-doped βTCP and P(3HB), as a component in ceramic-polymer scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration, have not yet been reported. Obtained materials were investigated by high-temperature X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, hydrostatic weighing, compression tests and ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) measurements. The influence of sintering temperature (1150, 1200 °C) on the scaffolds’ physicochemical properties (phase and chemical composition, microstructure, porosity, compressive strength) was evaluated. Materials covered with P(3HB) possessed higher compressive strength (3.8 ± 0.6 MPa) and surgical maneuverability, sufficient to withstand the implantation procedures. Furthermore, during the hydrolytic degradation of the composite material not only pure (R)-3-hydroxybutyric acid but also its oligomers were released which may nourish surrounding tissues. Thus, obtained scaffolds were found to be promising bone substitutes for use in non-load bearing applications
2. Calcium Phosphate
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