Mechanical and in vitro performance of apatite–wollastonite glass ceramic reinforced hydroxyapatite composite fabricated by 3D-printing

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In situ hydroxyapatite/apatite–wollastonite glass ceramic composite was fabricated by a three dimensional printing (3DP) technique and characterized. It was found that the as-fabricated mean green strength of the composite was 1.27 MPa which was sufficient for general handling. After varying sintering temperatures (1050–1300°C) and times (1–10 h), it was found that sintering at 1300°C for 3 h gave the greatest flexural modulus and strength, 34.10 GPa and 76.82 MPa respectively. This was associated with a decrease in porosity and increase in densification ability of the composite resulting from liquid phase sintering. Bioactivity tested by soaking in simulated body fluid (SBF) and In Vitro toxicity studies showed that 3DP hydroxyapatite/A–W glass ceramic composite was non-toxic and bioactive. A new calcium phosphate layer was observed on the surface of the composite after soaking in SBF for only 1 day while osteoblast cells were able to attach and attain normal morphology on the surface of the composite.

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