Fabrication of Bioactive Glass-Ceramics by Selective Laser Sintering
The feasibility of processing glass-ceramics using the layer manufacturing technique, selective laser sintering (SLS), to produce parts with suitable biological and mechanical properties for use in bone replacement applications, has been investigated. Glass-ceramics derived from glasses based on several different systems have been considered. Initial experiments using an apatite-mullite glass-ceramic (4.5SiO2⋅3Al203⋅1.6P2O5⋅3CaO⋅2CaF2) demonstrated the ability to process glass-ceramic materials using this technique, creating parts with a strength similar to that of cancellous bone, and a porous structure that was shown in vivo to be suitable for the ingrowth of bone. Concerns over the inability of the apatite-mullite material to form an apatite layer on its surface when soaked in a simulated body fluid (SBF) has led to the development of Al2O3-free glasses based on the systems (50-x)CaO⋅45SiO2⋅5P2O5⋅xCaF2 and (48-x)CaO⋅45SiO2⋅5P2O5⋅2CaF2⋅xNa2O. These materials have demonstrated good in vitro bioactivity, and therefore have good potential as candidates for processing by an indirect SLS method for the production of custom-made bone implants.
Takashi Nakamura, Kimihiro Yamashita and Masashi Neo
R. D. Goodridge et al., "Fabrication of Bioactive Glass-Ceramics by Selective Laser Sintering", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 309-311, pp. 289-292, 2006