Currently there is no adequate bone replacement available that combines a long implant life with complete integration and appropriate mechanical properties. This paper reports on the use of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to populate porous bioceramic scaffolds produced by selective laser sintering (SLS) to create bespoke bioactive bone replacement structures. Apatite-wollastonite glass ceramic was chosen for use in this study because of its combination of excellent mechanical and biological properties, and has been processed using an indirect SLS approach. Process maps have been developed to identify process conditions for the SLS stage of manufacture and an optimised furnace cycle for the material has been developed to ensure that the required material phases for bioactivity are present in the manufactured scaffold. Results from tissue culture with the MSC’s on the scaffolds (using confocal and scanning electron microscopy) show that MSCs adhere, spread and retain viability on the surface, and penetrate into the pores of apatite wollastonite (A-W) glass ceramic scaffolds over a 21 day culture period. The MSC’s also show strong indications of osteogenesis, indicating that the MSC’s are differentiating to osteoblasts. These results indicate good biocompatibility and osteo supportive capacity of SLS generated A-W scaffolds and excellent potential in bone replacement applications.

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