The Effect of Particle Size on the Mechanical and Microstructural Properties of Freeze-Casted Macroporous Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds

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Abstract

Two different hydroxyapatites with the particle sizes of 3.9 and 1.69 μm were chosen. Slurries with initial hydroxyapatite concentration of 15 vol% were prepared. Different cooling rates from 2 to 14°C/min were utilized. The specimens were sintered at different temperatures of 1250–1350°C. The phase composition (by X-Ray Diffraction), microstructure (by Scanning Electron Microscopy), mechanical characteristics, and the porosity of sintered samples were assessed. The porosity of the sintered samples was in range of ~57–83%, and the compressive strength varied from ~1.7 to 15 MPa. The mechanical strength of the scaffolds increased as a function of cooling rate and sintering temperature.

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