Tom Schneider

Tom Schneider

Bachelor student

Printability of alginate-bioactive glass composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering


Supervisors: Vera Bednarzig, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Clinical interventions are required in situations of bone defects where natural bone regeneration fails to occur by itself. Current standard methods of treatment include autografts and allografts but are associated with limitations like donor site morbidity or the transmission of diseases [1]. Tissue Engineering (TE) is one of the approaches being increasingly investigated to tackle this problem. Common TE strategies aim for the fabrication of three-dimensional structures, called “scaffolds”, which should provide a structural support for cells and favorably affect bone formation by stimulating cell response [2]. The use of composite materials including combination of hydrogels and inorganic particles (e.g. bioactive glasses) is promising for developing bioactive and biodegradable bone tissue scaffolds [3]. The aim of this bachelor thesis is to develope bioactive glass-alginate composite scaffolds by 3D printing and to determine the influence of glass composition and particle size and shape on the printability of the scaffolds. Extrusion-based printing technology is used and the scaffolds are characterised in terms of microstructure, mechanical properties, bioactivity and biodegradability.

[1] Shruthy Kuttappan, Biomimetic composite scaffolds containing bioceramics and collagen/gelatin for bone tissue engineering – A mini review, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules (2016) 93: 1390–1401.

[2] A. Hoppe et. al., A review of the biological response to ionic dissolution products from bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics, Biomaterials (2011) 32:2757-2774.

[3] S. Utech et. al., A review of hydrogel-based composites for biomedical applications: enhancement of hydrogel properties by addition of rigid inorganic fillers, J Mater Sci (2016) 51:271–310.