Assessment of elastic properties of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering obtained by selective laser sintering

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The design of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering with controlled microstructure has been an area of interest since it permits to obtain scaffolds with properties that satisfy mechanical and biological requirements [1]. Design methodologies imply to solve optimization problems in the continuum mechanics context that return optimal material microstructures with equivalent macroscopic elastic properties usually obtained by homogenization techniques. As regards the fabrication of scaffolds with controlled microstructure Rapid Prototyping (RP) techniques are particularly adequate, e.g. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). The process of converting data from finite elements codes to STL files may involve some perturbation of geometrical features. Furthermore, the final product and its experimental testing may differ from predicted numerical simulations. This motivates research work in order to evaluate mechanical properties and then conciliate experimental and numerical results. In this work the actual properties of scaffolds are assessed, both experimentally and using the Finite Element (FE) Method. Three scaffold microstructures are designed via multiscale topology optimization balancing mechanical and mass-transport properties [2, 3]. Then, SLS is used to fabricate prototypes in Polycaprolactone (PCL) with 4% Hydroxyapatite. The specimens manufactured correspond to periodic patterns of 4´4´8 unit-cells. Different sizes of specimens are built varying the length of the unit-cell edge (2, 3 or 4 mm). The Young Modulus along x, y and z directions are evaluated by compressive testing. Each experimental testing is simulated numerically running a FE linear analysis. The results show a correlation between numerical and experimental compressive testing data, for all designs, sizes and directions.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationCMBBE
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Event10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …


Conference10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Period1/01/12 → …

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