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Ceramic Stereolithography of Bioactive Glasses: Influence of Resin Composition on Curing Behavior and Green Body Properties

Chen, Qirong; Schmidt, Franziska; Görke, Oliver; Asif, Anila; Weinhold, Joachim; Aghaei, Erfan; Rehman, Ihtesham ur; Gurlo, Aleksander; Shah, Asma Tufail

FG Keramische Werkstoffe

Herein we report on the preparation of a bioactive glass (BAG)-based photocurable resin for the additive manufacturing of BAG scaffolds with high filler loadings. The preparation of glass/ceramics resins for stereolithography with high filler loading is always a challenge, especially for fillers with a high refractive index variance. Various photocurable resin compositions with and without bioactive glass fillers have been investigated to see the influence of bioactive glass on physical properties of the resin and resulting green body. The effect of concentration of monomers, reactive diluent, light absorber (Sudan orange G dye), photoinitiator (PI), non-reactive diluent, and fillers (BAG) on rheology and photocuring behavior of the resin and tomography of the resulting 3D structures have been investigated. The BAG contents affect the rheology of resin and influence the rate of the polymerization reaction. The resin compositions with 55–60% BAG, 10% PEG-200 (diluent), 1% of PI and 0.015% of the dye were found to be suitable compositions for the stereolithographic fabrication. A higher percentage of PI caused over-curing, while a higher amount of dye decreased the cure depth of the resin. The micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images of the resulting green bodies display a relatively dense glass scaffold without any visible cracks and good interlayer connection and surface finishing. These properties play an important role in the mechanical behavior of 3D scaffolds. This study will be helpful to prepare high density glass/ceramic slurries and optimize their printing properties.