[en] This study developed highly porous degradable composites as potential scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. These scaffolds consisted of poly-d,l-lactic acid filled with 2 and 15 vol.% of 45S5 Bioglass® particles and were produced via thermally induced solid–liquid phase separation and subsequent solvent sublimation. The scaffolds had a bimodal and anisotropic pore structure, with tubular macro-pores of 100 μm in diameter, and with interconnected micro-pores of 10–50 μm in diameter. Quasi-static and thermal dynamic mechanical analysis carried out in compression along with thermogravimetric analysis was used to investigate the effect of Bioglass® on the properties of the foams. Quasi-static compression testing demonstrated mechanical anisotropy concomitant with the direction of the macro-pores. An analytical modelling approach was applied, which demonstrated that the presence of Bioglass® did not significantly alter the porous architecture of these foams and reflected the mechanical anisotropy which was congruent with the scanning electron microscopy investigation. This study found that the Ishai–Cohen and Gibson–Ashby models can be combined to predict the compressive modulus of the composite foams. The modulus and density of these complex foams are related by a power-law function with an exponent between 2 and 3.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
The EPSRC (UK) ; Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy