The application of bioceramic hydroxyapatite (HA) derived from materials high in calcium to tissue engineering has been of concern, namely scaffold. Scaffold pores allow for cell mobility metabolic processes, and delivery of oxygen and nutrients by blood vessel. Thus, pore architecture affects cell seeding efficiency, cell viability, migration, morphology, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, angiogenesis, mechanical strength of scaffolds, and, eventually, bone formation. Therefore, to improve the efficacy of bone regeneration, several important parameters of the pore architecture of scaffolds must be carefully controlled, including pore size, geometry, orientation, uniformity, interconnectivity, and porosity, which are interrelated and whose coordination affects the effectiveness of bone tissue engineering. The honeycomb (HCB) as natural polymeric porogen is used to pore forming agent of scaffolds. It is unique for fully interconnected and oriented pores of uniform size and high mechanical strength in the direction of the pores. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the effect of HCB concentration on macropore structure of the scaffolds.
Bioceramic hydroxyapatite (HA) was synthesized from abalone mussel shells (Halioitis asinina) using a precipitation method, and HA-based scaffolds were fabricated with honeycomb (HCB) as the porogen agent. Pore structure engineering was successfully carried out using HCB at concentrations of 10, 20, and 30 wt%.
The Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis revealed that the Ca/P molar ratio of HA was 1.67 (the stoichiometric ratio of HA). The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra results for porous HA-based scaffolds and synthesized HA showed that no chemical decomposition occurred in the HA-based scaffold fabrication process. The porosity of the scaffold tended to increase when higher concentrations of HCB were added. XRD data shows that the HCB was completely degraded from the scaffold material. The cell metabolic activity and morphology of the HA + HCB 30 wt% scaffold enable it to facilitate the attachment of MC3T3E1 cells on its surface.
HCB 30 wt% is the best concentration to fabricate the scaffold corresponding to the criteria for pores structure, crystallographic properties, chemical decomposition process and cell viability for bone tissue engineering.