Three-dimensionally printed hydroxyapatite (3DP HA) was investigated in regards to its functional properties supporting bone regeneration and tooth movement. The material’s high porosity and nanocrystal structure were investigated in terms of degradability, wicking property, and granular agglomeration in order to identify its potential for use as bone graft in alveolar cleft applications.
Materials and methods
Commercially available bovine xenograft (Bio-Oss), biphasic calcium phosphate alloplast (BoneCeramic), and two types of freeze-dried bone allograft granules (SureOss Plus and RegenOss) were employed as control samples for comparison. In vitro degradability was studied by submerging the samples in pH 7.4 buffered solution at 37 o C for 28 days and determining subsequent weight loss percentage. The wicking property and granular agglomeration were evaluated by putting the granules in contact with deionized water, whole blood, and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS).
SureOss Plus and RegenOss showed the greatest weight loss at 28 days (6.64 and 8.91%, respectively) followed by 3DP HA (2.82%), Bio-Oss (0.21%), and BoneCeramic (0.20%). In contrast, 3DP HA showed significantly greater wicking ability than other samples for all types of tested liquids. SureOss Plus exhibited the greatest granular agglomeration for all liquid types followed by 3DP HA and Bio-Oss, Regenoss, and BoneCeramic, respectively.
3DP HA was found to be a favorable candidate for bone grafting in alveolar cleft treatment. Its resorption ability and exceptionally high wicking ability would be beneficial in bone healing and tooth movement. In addition, its moderate granular agglomeration capacity would help in graft handling and manipulation.