Ertugrul Varlik

Ertugrul Varlik

Visiting PhD Student (FunGlass Center, Slovakia)

Bioactive glass scaffolds by combination of additive manufacturing methods


Supervisors in Erlangen: Marcela Arango Ospina, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Scaffolds demanded for bone tissue engineering (BTE) applications usually suffer from a lack of multifunctionality. Therapeutic ions such as boron (B) and cobalt (Co), incorporated into the silica-based bioactive glass (BG), are capable of regulating genes responsible for new blood vessel formation (e.g., VEGF) through different signaling pathways [1]. In addition, B could act as a reinforcement element, improving the mechanical properties of bioactive glass and leading to potential scaffolds’ reinforcement [2]. The combination of proper design, additive manufacturing (AM), and co-doped BG systems is of tremendous interest for scaffold production appropriate for BTE. AM techniques, and digital light processing (DLP) in particular, make it possible to transform digital objects into tangible biomedical substitutes. The current work focuses on the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds using an ultraviolet (UV) light-curable slurry containing un/single/co-doped silicate-based BG. A comprehensive analysis of the scaffolds will be performed to determine their structural integrity and biological performance, ultimately improving our knowledge of their possible uses in BTE applications. This project is part of the international collaboration of the FAU Institute of Biomaterials and the Centre for Functional and Surface Functionalized Glass (FunGlass) at University of Trencin, Slovakia, with funding of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº739566.

[1] S. Chen et al., “Multi-targeted B and Co co-doped 45S5 bioactive glasses with angiogenic potential for bone regeneration,” Materials Science and Engineering C, 112, 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2020.110909.

[2] X. Liu et al., “Bioactive borosilicate glass scaffolds: improvement on the strength of glass-based scaffolds for tissue engineering,” Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 20, 2009, 365–372, doi: 10.1007/s10856-008-3582-3.