In this study, a novel hydroxyapatite (HA)-coated forsterite scaffold with a desired porous structure, high mechanical properties and good bioactivity was successfully fabricated via gel-casting and sol–gel in low pressure methods. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray map techniques were utilized in order to evaluate the phase composition, dimension, morphology, interconnectivity of the pores and state of the coating on the porosities of the synthesized scaffold. The porosity and compressive strength of the scaffolds were measured and the bioactivity was investigated by soaking the scaffolds in simulated body fluid (SBF). The results show that the prepared scaffolds had highly interconnected spherical pores with size in the range of 65–245 μm. Additionally, compressive strength and elastic modulus were 7.5 ± 0.2 and 291 ± 10 MPa, respectively. The crystallite size of the scaffolds was less than 60 nm. True (total) and apparent (interconnected) porosity of the scaffolds were in the range of 75–80 and 65–70%, respectively. In vitro tests in the SBF also confirmed good bioactivity of the prepared scaffolds. While bone-like apatite formation started from the first day of soaking and apatite covered the entire surface and inner wall of the scaffolds pores at long immersion time. Conclusion suggested that HA coating on forsterite scaffolds could significantly improve the mechanical properties and bioactivity, which might be promising for tissue engineering applications.
Volume 42 | Issue 3