Evaluating the effect of increasing ceramic content on the mechanical properties, material microstructure and degradation of selective laser sintered PCL/b-TCP materials
McHugh, Peter E.
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Doyle, Heather, Lohfeld, Stefan, & McHugh, Peter. (2015). Evaluating the effect of increasing ceramic content on the mechanical properties, material microstructure and degradation of selective laser sintered polycaprolactone/β-tricalcium phosphate materials. Medical Engineering & Physics, 37(8), 767-776. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2015.05.009
Orthopaedic scaffold materials were fabricated from polycaprolactone (PCL) and composite PCL β-tricalcium phosphate (PCL/β-TCP) powders using selective laser sintering (SLS). Incorporating β-TCP particles is desirable to promote osteogenesis. The effects of increasing β-TCP content on the material s mechanical properties and microstructure were evaluated. The wt% of β-TCP and PCL particle sizes were found to inﬂuence material microstructure and mechanical properties, with increasing ceramic content causing a small but signiﬁcant increase in stiffness but signiﬁcant reductions in strength. Degradation of materials was achieved using ac- celerated ageing methods. The inﬂuence of β-TCP content on degradation at 7 weeks was evaluated through changes in mechanical properties and microstructure, and the ceramic particles were found to reduce elastic modulus and increase strength. The results of this study highlight the inﬂuence of ceramic content on me- chanical properties and degradation behaviour of PCL/β-TCP SLS materials, and indicate that these changes must be considered in the design of scaffolds for critical-sized defects.