Compositions and Methods for 3D Printing of Calcium Phosphate Cement Composite Scaffolds

Case ID



The global market size for bone grafts and substitutes is estimated to be about $2.8B, with more than 2 million bone graft procedures performed worldwide each year. Although bone autografts and allografts are widely used, they suffer from a high risk of infections and rejection by the immune system. Additive manufacturing using hydroxyapatite-based scaffolds has been proposed as an alternative that can generate customized 3D-printed patient-specific implantable scaffold structures. However, present processes are incapable of printing with high resolution. Furthermore, the amount of ceramic material within many inks is limited to less than about 30% by weight of the printing ink, which reduces elasticity and structure strength. Furthermore, elevated temperatures are required for printing.

Intellectual Property Status

PCT and US patents pending:WO 2021/173575 A1; US 2021/0260249 A1;

Invention Description

ADASRI researchers have developed new compositions of matter (inks) and associated 3D printing methods that allow room-temperature printing of high-resolution and mechanically stronger composite scaffold structures. The 3D printing inks include calcium phosphate cement (CPC) powders and a biocompatible polymer. Upon printing in an aqueous environment, the polymer material hardens first and provides initial strength for the composite structure as well as flexibility. A self-setting reaction of the co-deposited CPC materials in the aqueous solution then forms, in-situ, a cement, such as hydroxyapatite, which then hardens to produce the final composite structure.


Dr. Stella Alimperti; Dr. Yoontae Kim; Dr. Eun-Jin Lee; Dr. Laurence Chow; Dr. Shozo Takagi

Potential Applications

The present invention is ideally suited for use to 3D-print customizable scaffolds for

  • Patient-specific implantable structures that promote bone regeneration: for example, craniofacial implants (as flat and irregular bone structures), including alveolar and calvaria bone types, and other trabecular and cortical bone implants
  • Research applications: biological testing of materials, bone disease modeling

Benefits and Advantages

  • High cement powder mass loading up to 75% produces structures with increased strength.
  • High resolution printing: structures with feature sizes less than 100 micrometers can be formed, allowing for printing of a wider range of bone implant structures.
  • Room-temperature process: printing eliminates cooling-induced stresses in structures.
  • Biocompatible: printed structures are osteoconductive, and support cell attachment and growth.
  • Reliable printing: use of an aqueous bath reduces nozzle clogging.
  • Compatible with different deposition techniques, including syringe and pneumatic dispensers as well as filament extruders.


Phil Dowd; Director of Innovation, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC