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Keywords:

  • bone graft;
  • tissue engineering;
  • PLGA;
  • scaffold fabrication;
  • solid freeform fabrication

Abstract

This study analyzed the in vivo performance of composite degradable bone repair products fabricated using the TheriForm™ process, a solid freeform fabrication (SFF) technique, in a rabbit calvarial defect model at 8 weeks. Scaffolds were composed of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) polymer with 20% w/w β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) ceramic with engineered macroscopic channels, a controlled porosity gradient, and a controlled pore size for promotion of new bone ingrowth. Scaffolds with engineered macroscopic channels and a porosity gradient had higher percentages of new bone area compared to scaffolds without engineered channels. These scaffolds also had higher percentages of new bone area compared to unfilled control defects, suggesting that scaffold material and design combinations could be tailored to facilitate filling of bony defects. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated that channel size, porosity, and pore size can be controlled and used to influence new bone formation and calvarial defect healing. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 66A: 283–291, 2003