The main principle of bone tissue engineering strategy is to use an osteoconductive porous scaffold in combination with osteoinductive molecules or osteogenic cells. The requirements for a scaffold in bone regeneration are: (1) biocompatibility, (2) osteoconductivity, (3) interconnected porous structure, (4) appropriate mechanical strength, and (5) biodegradability. We recently developed a fully interconnected porous hydroxyapatite (IP-CHA) by adopting the "form-gel" technique. IP-CHA has a three-dimensional structure with spherical pores of uniform size that are interconnected by window-like holes; the material also demonstrated adequate compression strength. In animal experiments, IP-CHA showed superior osteoconduction, with the majority of pores filled with newly formed bone. The interconnected porous structure facilitates bone tissue engineering by allowing the introduction of bone cells, osteotropic agents, or vasculature into the pores. In this article, we review the accumulated data on bone tissue engineering using the novel scaffold, focusing especially on new techniques in combination with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) or mesenchymal stem cells.
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