Porous composites consisting of a polysulfone (or cellulose acetate) matrix and bioactive glass particles were prepared by phase separation techniques. Microstructures were designed for potential application as an interconnect between artificial cartilage and bone. The effects of polymer type, concentration and molecular weight, as well as bioactive glass size and content, on the microstructures of the composites were studied. The composites have asymmetric structures with dense top layers and porous structures beneath. The microstructural features depend most strongly on the type of polymer, the interaction between the polymer and bioactive glass, and the glass content. The dense top layer could be removed by abrasion to make a structure with large pores (20-150 μm) exposed. Composites were immersed in simulated body fluid at body temperature. The growth of hydroxycarbonate apatite inside and on the composites demonstrates their potential for integration with bone. Composite modulus and break strength increased with increasing glass content due to the change in composition and pore content.
- Bioactive glass
- Polymer scaffold
- Porous composites
- Soft-to-hard tissue interface