Lattice Microarchitecture for Bone Tissue Engineering from Calcium Phosphate Compared to Titanium.
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Additive manufacturing of bone tissue engineering scaffolds will become a key element for personalized bone tissue engineering in the near future. Several additive manufacturing processes are based on extrusion where the deposition of the filament will result in a three-dimensional lattice structure. Recently, we studied diverse lattice structures for bone tissue engineering realized by laser sintering of titanium. In this work, we used lithography-based ceramic manufacturing of lattice structures to produce scaffolds from tricalcium phosphates (TCP) and compared them in vivo to congruent titanium scaffolds manufactured with the identical computer-aided design data to look for material-based differences in bony healing. The results show that, during a 4-week period in a noncritical-size defect in a rabbit calvarium, both scaffolds with the identical microarchitecture performed equally well in terms of bony regeneration and bony bridging of the defect. A significant increase in both parameters could only be achieved when the TCP-based scaffolds were doped with bone morphogenetic protein-2. In a critical-size defect in the calvarial bone of rabbits, however, the titanium scaffold performed significantly better than the TCP-based scaffold, most likely due to its higher mechanical stability. We conclude that titanium and TCP-based scaffolds of the same microarchitecture perform equally well in terms of bone regeneration, provided the microarchitecture meets the mechanical demand at the site of implantation.