3D Bio-Plotted Tricalcium Phosphate/Zirconia Composite Scaffolds to Heal Large Size Bone Defects

β-TCP-Zirconia scaffolds with different architectures were fabricated by means of 3D-Bioplotting in order to enhance the mechanical and in-vitro ability of the scaffold to heal large size bone defects. In the present study scaffold architecture with different strand orientations (0o-90o, 0o-45o-135o-180o, 0o-108o-216o and 0o-72o-144o-36o-108o) were fabricated, characterized and evaluated for mechanical strength and cell proliferation ability. β-TCP powder (25µm) and PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) was acquired from Fisher Scientific, India. Zirconia (18 to 32 µm) was procured from Lobachemie, India. In brief 7.5%, PVA in distilled water was used as a binder and was mixed with 10 grams of (70/30) TCP-Zirconia ratio to make the ceramic paste. The paste was further sieved through a 100-micron sieve and was filled in a 30 ml syringe. With 400 microns needle, the scaffold architectures were printed layer by layer and were allowed to dry at room temperature. The dried samples were sintered at 1500oC in a silicon carbide furnace and were allowed to remain at this temperature for 5 hours. The sintered samples were then characterized by X-Ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Uniaxial Compression Tests, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and cell proliferation by XTT assay using MG-63 human osteosarcoma cell line. It was revealed that all samples maintained their structure and functional groups after sintering. Also, it was found that the architecture with (0o-72o-144o-36o-108o) strand orientation had the best strength and cell proliferation ability. Jointly these properties are required for scaffold fabrication in the field of bone tissue engineering.