Direct ink writing of silica-carbon-calcite composite scaffolds from a silicone resin and fillers

Hamada Elsayed, Francesco Carraro, Stefano Agnoli, Devis Bellucci, Valeria Cannillo, Letizia Ferroni, Chiara Gardin, Barbara Zavan, Enrico Bernardo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calcite-based composite scaffolds have been successfully 3D-printed by direct ink writing, starting from a paste comprising a silicone polymer and calcite (CaCO3) powders. The firing in nitrogen, at 600 °C, after preliminary cross-linking step at 350 °C, determined the transformation of the polymer matrix into a silica-carbon nano-composite, embedding unreacted calcite particles. Compared to previously developed silica-calcite scaffolds, obtained after firing in air, the new composites exhibited a significant strength improvement (up to ∼10 MPa, for a total open porosity of 56%). The new formulation did not compromise the in vitro bioactivity and the biocompatibility of the scaffolds, as shown by dissolution studies in SBF and preliminary cell culture tests, with human fibroblasts. Due to the simplicity of the processing and the outstanding mechanical performances, the developed scaffolds are promising candidates for bone tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5200-5207
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioactivity
  • Biocompatibility
  • Calcite
  • Direct 3D printing
  • Preceramic polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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