Tissue engineering is one of the important methods of constructing biological tissues or devices for reconstruction and repair of the organ structures in order to maintain and improve their function [1
]. The production of scaffolds, which are used for framework and initial support for the cells to attach, proliferate and differentiate, and form an extracellular matrix, is one area of tissue engineering [2
]. The goal of scaffold production in tissue engineering is to fabricate reproducible, bioactive, and bioresorbable 3D scaffolds with appropriated properties that are able to maintain their structure for predictable times, even under load-bearing conditions [3
]. The bioceramic scaffold is commonly used as a replacement of hard tissue through the 3D scaffold. The hydroxyapatite [HA], Ca10
, and β-tricalcium phosphate [β-TCP], Ca3
, are well-known bioceramics which are biocompatible and bioactive. These materials exhibit a close resemblance in chemical composition to the human bone, a high biocompatibility with the surrounding living tissue, and high osteoconduction characteristics [4
With the current tissue engineering, the scaffolds have suffered from limited cell depth viability when cultured in vitro
, with viable cells existing within the outer 250 to 500 μm from the fluid-scaffold interface because of the lack of nutrient delivery into and waste removal from the inner regions of the scaffold construct [5
]. To achieve better bioactive 3D scaffolds, bioceramic scaffolds with multi-pores were created to enhance biological properties as they have improved oxygen diffusion and fluid permeability.
The bioceramics have disadvantages of being brittle, and the composites of calcium phosphate ceramic with a protein-based polymer were of interest as the bone tissues repair materials due to their better mechanical properties as well as having adequate biological properties. The natural-based materials such as polysaccharides (starch, alginate, chitin/chitosan, hyaluronic acid derivatives) or proteins (soy, collagen, gelatin) in combination with a reinforcement of a variety of biofibers are one of the protein-based polymers, and the others are synthetic biodegradable polymers such as saturated poly(a-hydroxy esters), including poly(lactic acid), poly(-glycolic acid), and poly(lactic-coglycolide) copolymers [7
]. Gelatin is obtained by thermal denaturation or physical and chemical degradation of collagen through the breaking of the triple-helix structure into random coils [8
]. When compared with collagen, gelatin does not express antigenicity under physiological conditions; it is completely resorbable in vivo
, and its physicochemical properties can be suitably modulated; furthermore, it is much cheaper and easier to obtain in concentrated solutions [9
]. Gelatin is also clinically proven as a temporary defect filler and wound dressing because of its biodegradability and cytocompatibility [10
]. However, the mechanical properties of gelatin itself are not satisfactory for hard tissue applications. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to create a 3D scaffold with enhanced mechanical and biological properties through multi-pore formation and gelatin coating.