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3D-printed Synthetic Bone Scaffold

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed biomimetic bone structure with interconnected pores and superior mechanical properties. The process uses simultaneous extrusion and unidirectional freezing of hydroxyapatite suspension to fabricate hierarchical and interconnected porous structures for bone cell culture.

This technology offers notable advantages over existing freeze-casting and other fabrication methods for making bone scaffolds. Most existing methods may have difficulty in controlling both the micro- and macro- structures of the bone scaffold. Freeze casting delivers scaffolds with interconnected pores, however, the 3D shape of the freeze-casted object is limited using these existing methods. With the help of this new technology, researchers were able to automate the macro-structure of the bone scaffold, and use the ice structure to form interconnected pores within the bone for human cell culturing.

  • Successfully mimics hierarchical human bone structure, is biocompatible and permits cell adhesion and migration
  • Demonstrates superior mechanical properties and high compressive strength for real applications
  • Contains interconnected and porous laminar structures ranging from few micrometers to centimeter level, thus approaching the hierarchical pores in natural bones
  • Interconnected micropores provide channels for the cells to grow into or invade the scaffold thereby greatly enhancing the cell growth sites

The superior mechanical properties and cell culture performance of these bones scaffolds makes them a feasible synthetic substitute for autografts for their use in bone reconstruction, and thus demonstrates the great potential of the proposed 3D printing method for future bone tissue engineering.

Additional Details


Kansas State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent

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