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Scanning Small- and Wide-Angle X‑ray Scattering Microscopy Selectively Probes HA Content in Gelatin/Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds for Osteochondral Defect Repair

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posted on 2016-03-28, 19:23 authored by Davide Altamura, Stella G. Pastore, Maria G. Raucci, Dritan Siliqi, Fabio De Pascalis, Michele Nacucchi, Luigi Ambrosio, Cinzia Giannini
This study is aimed at investigating the structure of a scaffold made of bovine gelatin and hydroxyapatite for bone tissue engineering purposes. In particular, the detailed characterization of such a material has a great relevance because of its application in the healing process of the osteochondral defect that consists of a damage of cartilage and injury of the adjacent subchondral bone, significantly compromising millions of patient’s quality of life. Two different techniques exploiting X-ray radiation, with table-top setups, are used: microtomography (micro-CT) and microdiffraction. Micro-CT characterizes the microstructure in the three dimensions at the micrometer scale spatial resolution, whereas microdiffraction provides combined structural/morphological information at the atomic and nanoscale, in two dimensional microscopy images with a hundred micrometer spatial resolution. The combination of these two techniques allowed an appropriate structural characterization for the purpose of validating the engineering approach used for the realization of the hydroxyapatite gradient across the scaffold, with properties close to the natural model.

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