3D printing of a composite material based on hydroxyapatite and alginate for bone implants

 

Investigator: Exequiel Gutierrez (Visiting Master student, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina)

Exequiel Gutierrez

 

Supervisors (Erlangen): Vera Bednarzig, Prof. Dr. Ing. Aldo R. Boccaccini

 

The technique of 3D bioplotting in combination with hydrogels is a field of interest for the improvement of scaffolds for tissue engineering. In the case of bone scaffolds, HA (hydroxyapatite) and alginate are combined to create bioactive composite materials for attachment and proliferation of bone cells [1]. The task of the present project is to develop a printable ink based on a stable alginate concentration with a high HA content. The cross-linking process using CaCl2 will be also investigated. The new composite hydrogel will be then characterize in terms of mechanical and chemical properties, including shrinkage, stiffness, chemical composition and degradation in simulated body fluid. This project is carried out in the framework of the I.DEAR exchange program funded by the German-Argentinean University Centre (CUAA-DAHZ) in collaboration with National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina.

[1] Utech, S., Boccaccini, A. R., A review of hydrogel-based composites for biomedical applications: Enhancement of hydrogel properties by addition of rigid inorganic fillers. J. Mater. Sci. 51 (2016) 271–310.