Toughening 3D-printed Sr–HT–Gahnite caffold through natural and synthetic polymer coating
Bone scaffold for aiding bone regeneration in large bone defects should have following ideal characteristics; biocompatibility, biodegradability, bio-activity, high porous and interconnected-pore architecture, as well as, mechanical characteristics similar to the cortical bone for supporting loads. 3D printed Sr–HT (Sr–Ca2ZnSi2O7)–gahnite scaffold with hexagonal pore structure is an interesting bone scaffold meeting most of these ideal features. To explain, biocompatible, osteoinductive, and osteoconductive properties as well as unique high compressive strength are obtained from Sr–HT–gahnite, glass-ceramic, material. With hexagonal pore structure, the scaffold has compressive strength comparable to cortical bone balancing with high porosity and large pore size. Nonetheless, the scaffold had a limited feature on the flexural strength. Therefore, in this study the printed glass-ceramic scaffold will be coated with polycaprolactone (PCL) and chitosan with the purpose of improving its toughness. The study reported coating the prepared ceramic scaffold with PCL and chitosan enhanced its toughness seen from an increase in its flexural strength from 12 ± 3 to 19 ± 2 and to 32 ± 5, respectively.