In a globally aging society, synthetic bone blocks are in increasing demand. An ideal synthetic bone block fuses early with bone and is replaced with new bone at a suitable speed while withstanding the weight load. Herein, we report carbonate apatite honeycomb (HC) blocks with superior mechanical strength, osteoconductivity, and bioresorbability compared to a clinically used synthetic porous block (control block). Three types of HC blocks were fabricated via the debinding of HC green bodies at 600, 650, and 700 °C and subsequent phosphatization, designated as HC-600, HC-650, and HC-700, respectively. The macropores in these HC blocks uniaxially penetrated the blocks, whereas those in the control block were not interconnected. Consequently, the HC blocks exhibited higher open macroporosities (18%-20%) than the control block (2.3%). In contrast, the microporosity of the control block (46.4%) was higher than those of the HC blocks (19%-30%). The compressive strengths of the HC-600, HC-650, HC-700, and control blocks were 24.7, 43.7, 103.8, and 38.9 MPa, respectively. The HC and control blocks were implanted into load-bearing segmental bone defects of rabbit ulnae. Uniaxial HC macropores enabled faster bone ingrowth than the poorly interconnected macropores in the control block. Microporosity in the HC blocks affected bone formation and osteoclastic resorption over a period of 24 weeks. The resorption of HC-650 corresponded to new bone formation; therefore, new bone with strength equal to that of the original bone bridged the separated bones. Thus, the HC blocks achieved the reconstruction of segmental bone defects while withstanding the weight load. The findings of this study contribute to the design and development of synthetic bone blocks for reconstructing segmental defects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Materials Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics