Bone pathology such as arthritis and osteoporosis as well as aging-associated traumatic injuries are of increasing concern due to rapid demographic changes. Bone restoration using autologous bone has its major drawback in small graft size and donor site morbidity, while allografts also bear the risk of disease transmission or immune reactions. Alternatives are scaffolds made of synthetic biocompatible Bone Replacement Material (BRM). Even more desirable is material that can be 3D-printed providing the specific shape, which fits the patient's needs and intrinsic properties thus optimally restituting lost bone. A major advantage provided by this technology is rapid and highly personalized on-site production service, and in severe cases provision of larger grafts made by means of tissue engineering technology amenable to regrow substantial amount of living bone.
Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies such as Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) which was professionally established and commercialized by project leader Lithoz (Austria) are amenable for producing bioresorbable ceramics to act as bone replacement materials (BRM). Raw material synthesized, refined and purified by partner SICCAS (China) will be 3D-printed by means of LCM technology. Structural and functional properties of the resulted BRM prints will be validated by analyses on different length scales (mm to nm) through REM/FIB tomography, XCT, synchrotron-tomography, and a stringent guidance by establishing image analytics for structural segmentation of porous structures permissive for enhancing the osseous functionalities of BRM. These characterizations will be accompanied by biocompatibility test using the developing hen's egg test (HET-CAM) and cultivated osteogenic cells to assess bone formation and remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Working along this line in particular based on the combinatorial structure-functional analytical assessment, refined BRM together with corresponding 3D printing methods can be selected.
A final project outcome is the production of biocompatible BRM with specific resorption characteristics for future clinical use. The past-project goal (>3 years) is to graft 3D-printed BRM by LCM into preclinical models to prove efficacy and stability. The long-term goal is production of truly patient-specific implants at affordable costs and short lead times.
Tatsächlicher Beginn/ -es Ende31/12/1931/12/21