Continuous porous structures of bioactive ceramics such as hydroxyapatite (HA) have been used as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. Sintering time is one of the main factors to obtain optimum mechanical properties of such bioceramic scaffolds. In the present study, the template method was utilized to fabricate HA scaffolds sintered at 1300°C. Sintering time was varied from 30 minutes to 20 hours in order to understand the effects of sintering time on the microstructures and compressive mechanical properties of HA scaffolds. It was found the compressive mechanical properties were greatly improved with increasing sintering time. This is mainly due to the strengthening of HA frame structure with increase of grain size and decrease of microdefects such as pores.
Keywords: scaffold, template method, hydroxyapatite, compressive properties