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      Bioactive Glass-Ceramic Foam Scaffolds from ‘Inorganic Gel Casting’ and Sinter-Crystallization

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          Highly porous bioactive glass-ceramic scaffolds were effectively fabricated by an inorganic gel casting technique, based on alkali activation and gelification, followed by viscous flow sintering. Glass powders, already known to yield a bioactive sintered glass-ceramic (CEL2) were dispersed in an alkaline solution, with partial dissolution of glass powders. The obtained glass suspensions underwent progressive hardening, by curing at low temperature (40 °C), owing to the formation of a C–S–H (calcium silicate hydrate) gel. As successful direct foaming was achieved by vigorous mechanical stirring of gelified suspensions, comprising also a surfactant. The developed cellular structures were later heat-treated at 900–1000 °C, to form CEL2 glass-ceramic foams, featuring an abundant total porosity (from 60% to 80%) and well-interconnected macro- and micro-sized cells. The developed foams possessed a compressive strength from 2.5 to 5 MPa, which is in the range of human trabecular bone strength. Therefore, CEL2 glass-ceramics can be proposed for bone substitutions.

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          Most cited references 37

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          How useful is SBF in predicting in vivo bone bioactivity?

          The bone-bonding ability of a material is often evaluated by examining the ability of apatite to form on its surface in a simulated body fluid (SBF) with ion concentrations nearly equal to those of human blood plasma. However, the validity of this method for evaluating bone-bonding ability has not been assessed systematically. Here, the history of SBF, correlation of the ability of apatite to form on various materials in SBF with their in vivo bone bioactivities, and some examples of the development of novel bioactive materials based on apatite formation in SBF are reviewed. It was concluded that examination of apatite formation on a material in SBF is useful for predicting the in vivo bone bioactivity of a material, and the number of animals used in and the duration of animal experiments can be reduced remarkably by using this method.
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            Scaffolds in tissue engineering bone and cartilage.

            Musculoskeletal tissue, bone and cartilage are under extensive investigation in tissue engineering research. A number of biodegradable and bioresorbable materials, as well as scaffold designs, have been experimentally and/or clinically studied. Ideally, a scaffold should have the following characteristics: (i) three-dimensional and highly porous with an interconnected pore network for cell growth and flow transport of nutrients and metabolic waste; (ii) biocompatible and bioresorbable with a controllable degradation and resorption rate to match cell/tissue growth in vitro and/or in vivo; (iii) suitable surface chemistry for cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation and (iv) mechanical properties to match those of the tissues at the site of implantation. This paper reviews research on the tissue engineering of bone and cartilage from the polymeric scaffold point of view.
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              Bioceramics: From Concept to Clinic

               Larry L Hench (1991)

                Author and article information

                Materials (Basel)
                Materials (Basel)
                27 February 2018
                March 2018
                : 11
                : 3
                [1 ]Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy; hamada.elsayed@ (H.E.); acacio.rinconromero@ (A.R.R.)
                [2 ]Ceramics Department, National Research Centre, El-Bohous Street, Cairo 12622, Egypt
                [3 ]Dipartimento Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy; giulia.molino@ (G.M.); chiara.vitale@ (C.V.B.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: enrico.bernardo@ ; Tel.: +39-049-827-5510; Fax: +39-049-827-5505
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


                gel casting, cel2 glass, glass-ceramics, alkali activation


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