Critical-size segmental defects are formidable challenges in orthopedic surgery. Various scaffolds have been developed to facilitate bone reconstruction within such defects. Many previously studied scaffolds achieved effective outcomes with a combination of high cost, high-risk growth factors or stem cells. Herein, we developed honeycomb scaffolds (HCSs) comprising carbonate apatite (CO3Ap) containing 8% carbonate, identical to human bone composition. The CO3Ap HCSs were white-columned blocks harboring regularly arranged macropore channels of a size and wall thickness of 156 ± 5 μm and 102 ± 10 μm, respectively. The compressive strengths of the HCSs parallel and perpendicular to the macropore channel direction were 51.0 ± 11.8 and 15.6 ± 2.2 MPa, respectively. The HCSs were grafted into critical-sized segmental defects in rat femurs. The HCSs bore high-load stresses without any observed breakage. Two-weeks post-implantation, calluses formed around the HCSs and immature bone formed in the HCS interior. The calluses and immature bone matured until 8 weeks via endochondral ossification. At 12 weeks post-implantation, large parts of the HCSs were gradually replaced by newly formed bone. The bone reconstruction efficacy of the CO3Ap HCSs alone was comparable to that of protein and cell scaffolds, while achieving a lower cost and increased safety.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Biomedical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys