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Bioactive and biomimetic scaffolds to mimic healthy bone

Thursday (27.09.2018)
15:30 - 15:45 S1/03 - 23
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Nowadays, the significant number of bone fractures due to osteoporosis represents a relevant worldwide problem still unsolved. The current pharmacological treatments are aimed to increase bone mineral density while decreasing bone fragility. However, they are not able to restore the balance between osteoblast (Ob) and osteoclast (Oc) activities at the base of the bone remodelling [Torstrick et al., 2014]. In such a context, the ERC BOOST project proposes a potential alternative and an innovative solution based on the design of a 3D printed bioactive scaffold able to provide specific instructive signals to direct and modulate a proper cell response. In details, the designed scaffold aims to mimic the properties of the natural bone in terms of chemical composition, structure, and biochemical cues in order to restore the physiological Ob and Oc cooperation. Firstly, human bone samples (provided by Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli) have been collected and studied to define the main differences between healthy and osteoporotic tissues. With this aim, bone samples have been characterised by means of computed tomography (CT) and nanoindentation tests, in addition to X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses to calculate the dimension of hydroxyapatite crystals. CAD/CAM models of healthy bone derived from nanoCT analyses will be used as input to produce the high-resolution structure of the scaffold by means of an ad-hoc biofabrication platform able to process different biomaterials. A hybrid bioactive material based on type I collagen and inorganic particles of both strontium containing mesoporous glasses and nano-hydroxyapatite has been optimised and subsequently characterised in terms of physico-chemical and rheological properties. The collagenous suspensions have been successfully extruded by using 30 G needles, showing shear thinning and a fast sol-gel transition. Different collagen crosslinking methods have been investigated in order to better mimic the natural organisation of bone while increasing the material stability. In particular, UV- induced crosslinking of methacrylate collagen has been properly optimised to maximise the efficiency of the process. Additional biochemical cues will be provided by the incorporation of different growth factors, such as IGF-1 and TGF-β, into the final construct.

Dipl.-Ing. Giorgia Montalbano
Politecnico di Torino
Additional Authors:
  • Giulia Molino
    Politecnico di Torino
  • Dr. Gabriela Ciapetti
    Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli (IOR)
  • Prof. Monica Mattioli Belmonte
    Università Politecnica delle Marche
  • Prof. Giovanni Vozzi
    Università di Pisa
  • Prof. Sonia Fiorilli
    Politecnico di Torino
  • Prof. Chiara Vitale Brovarone
    Politecnico di Torino