Hierarchical porosity inherited by natural sources affects the mechanical and biological behaviour of bone scaffolds

Simone Sprio, Silvia Panseri, Monica Montesi, Massimiliano Dapporto, Andrea Ruffini, Samuele M. Dozio, Riccardo Cavuoto, Diego Misseroni, Marco Paggi, Davide Bigoni, Anna Tampieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A 3-D porous apatite scaffold (B-HA), recently obtained through biomorphic transformation of a natural wood, is investigated on its multi-scale porous structure determining superior biological and mechanical behaviour. B-HA shows a hierarchically organized architecture with wide aligned channels interconnected with smaller tubules, thus recapitulating in detail the lymphatic network of the original wood template. As induced by its biomimetic architecture, B-HA displays values of tensile/compressive strengths and stiffness, higher than values usually measured in sintered ceramics with isotropic porosity. Furthermore, B-HA shows uncommon toughness for a pure ceramic body, plus a tensile/compressive-strength ratio higher than one, so that the material occupies a zone in the Ashby map where ceramics are normally absent. From biological viewpoint, cell co-culture tests in bioreactor are shown to report encouraging results in enhancing the complex tissue regeneration process, thus making B-HA promising as a scaffold able to promote bone regeneration, particularly for large bone defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1727
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Biomorphic ceramic
  • Cell co-culture
  • Ductility
  • Mechanical properties
  • Multi-scale hierarchical pore structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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