Additively manufacturing (AM) opens up the possibility for biodegradable metals to possess uniquely combined characteristics that are desired for bone substitution, including bone-mimicking mechanical properties, topologically ordered porous structure, pore interconnectivity and biodegradability. Zinc is considered to be one of the promising biomaterials with respect to biodegradation rate and biocompatibility. However, no information regarding the biodegradability and biocompatibility of topologically ordered AM porous zinc is yet available. Here, we applied powder bed fusion to fabricate porous zinc with a topologically ordered diamond structure. An integrative study was conducted on the static and dynamic biodegradation behavior (in vitro, up to 4 weeks), evolution of mechanical properties with increasing immersion time, electrochemical performance, and biocompatibility of the AM porous zinc. The specimens lost 7.8% of their weight after 4 weeks of dynamic immersion in a revised simulated body fluid. The mechanisms of biodegradation were site-dependent and differed from the top of the specimens to the bottom. During the whole in vitro immersion time of 4 weeks, the elastic modulus values of the AM porous zinc (E = 700–1000 MPa) even increased and remained within the scope of those of cancellous bone. Indirect cytotoxicity revealed good cellular activity up to 72 h according to ISO 10,993–5 and -12. Live-dead staining confirmed good viability of MG-63 cells cultured on the surface of the AM porous zinc. These important findings could open up unprecedented opportunities for the development of multifunctional bone substituting materials that will enable reconstruction and regeneration of critical-size load-bearing bone defects. Statement of significance: No information regarding the biodegradability and biocompatibility of topologically ordered AM porous zinc is available. We applied selective laser melting to fabricate topologically ordered porous zinc and conducted a comprehensive study on the biodegradation behavior, electrochemical performance, time-dependent mechanical properties, and biocompatibility of the scaffolds. The specimens lost 7.8% of their weight after4 weeks dynamic biodegradation while their mechanical properties surprisingly increased after 4 weeks. Indirect cytotoxicity revealed good cellular activity up to 72 h. Intimate contact between MG-63 cells and the scaffolds was also observed. These important findings could open up unprecedented opportunities for the development of multifunctional bone substituting materials that mimic bone properties and enable full regeneration of critical-size load-bearing bony defects.
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- Additive manufacturing
- Mechanical property