Despite considerable advances in biomaterials-based bone tissue engineering technologies, autografts remain the gold standard for rehabilitating critical-sized bone defects in the oral and maxillofacial (OMF) region. A majority of advanced synthetic bone substitutes (SBS’s) have not transcended the pre-clinical stage due to inferior clinical performance and translational barriers, which include low scalability, high cost, regulatory restrictions, limited advanced facilities and human resources. This study aims to offer clinically viable alternatives to address the challenges of bone tissue regeneration in the OMF region by developing ‘dual network composites’ (DNC’s) of calcium metaphosphate (CMP) – poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) / alginate with osteogenic ions: calcium, zinc and strontium. To fabricate DNC’s, single network composites of PVA/CMP with 10% (w/v) gelatin particles as porogen were developed using two freeze-thawing cycles and subsequently interpenetrated by guluronate-dominant sodium alginate and chelated with calcium, zinc or strontium ions. Physicochemical, compressive, water uptake, thermal, morphological and in vitro biological properties of DNC’s were characterised. Results demonstrated elastic 3D porous scaffolds resembling a ‘spongy bone’ with fluid absorbing capacity, easily sculptable to fit anatomically complex bone defects, biocompatible, osteoconductive and osteoinductive in vitro, thus yielding potentially clinically viable for SBS alternatives in OMF surgery.
- bone tissue engineering
- calcium phosphate
- poly(vinyl alcohol)
- oral and maxillofacial surgery