Biological Responses of Ceramic Bone Spacers Produced by Green Processing of Additively Manufactured Thin Meshes

Minguella-Canela, Joaquim
Calero, Jose Antonio
Korkusuz, Feza
Korkusuz, Petek
Kankılıç, Berna
Bilgiç, Elif
De los Santos-López, M. Antonia
Bone spacers are exclusively used for replacing the tissue after trauma and/or diseases. Ceramic materials bring positive opportunities to enhance greater osteointegration and performance of implants, yet processing of porous geometries can be challenging. Additive Manufacturing (AM) opens opportunities to grade porosity levels in a part; however, its productivity may be low due to its batch processing approach. The paper studies the biological responses yielded by hydroxyapatite with beta -TCP (tricalcium phosphate) ceramic porous bone spacers manufactured by robocasting 2-layer meshes that are rolled in green and sintered. The implants are assessed in vitro and in vivo for their compatibility. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells attached, proliferated and differentiated on the bone spacers produced. Cells on the spacers presented alkaline phosphatase staining, confirming osteogenic differentiation. They also expressed bone-specific COL1A1, BGAP, BSP, and SPP1 genes. The fold change of these genes ranged between 8 to 16 folds compared to controls. When implanted into the subcutaneous tissue of rabbits, they triggered collagen fibre formation and mild fibroblastic proliferation. In conclusion, rolled AM-meshes bone spacers stimulated bone formation in vitro and were biocompatible in vivo. This technology may give the advantage to custom produce spacers at high production rates if industrially upscaled.


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Citation Formats
J. Minguella-Canela et al., “Biological Responses of Ceramic Bone Spacers Produced by Green Processing of Additively Manufactured Thin Meshes,” Materials, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: