Although studies on scaffolds for tissue generation have mainly focused on the chemical composition and pore structure, the effects of scaffold shape have been overlooked. Scaffold shape determines the scaffold surface area (SA) at the single-scaffold level (i.e., microscopic effects), although it also affects the amount of interscaffold space in the tissue defect at the whole-system level (i.e., macroscopic effects). To clarify these microscopic and macroscopic effects, this study reports the osteogenesis abilities of three types of carbonate apatite granular scaffolds with different shapes, namely, irregularly shaped dense granules (DGs) and two types of honeycomb granules (HCGs) with seven hexagonal channels (∼255 μm in length between opposite sides). The HCGs possessed either 12 protuberances (∼75 μm in length) or no protuberances. Protuberances increased the SA of each granule by 3.24 mm2 while also widening interscaffold spaces and increasing the space percentage in the defect by ∼7.6%. Interscaffold spaces were lower in DGs than HCGs. On DGs, new bone formed only on the surface, whereas on HCGs, bone simultaneously formed on the surface and in intrascaffold channels. Interestingly, HCGs without protuberances formed approximately 30% more new bone than those with protuberances. Thus, even tiny protuberances on the scaffold surface can affect the percentage of interscaffold space, thereby exerting dominant effects on osteogenesis. Our findings demonstrate that bone regeneration can be improved by considering macroscopic shape effects beyond the microscopic effects of the scaffold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)