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Biomaterials. 2002 Oct;23(20):4095-103.

Optimal design and fabrication of scaffolds to mimic tissue properties and satisfy biological constraints.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2125, USA.


Bone tissue engineering scaffolds must shape regenerating tissue, provide temporary mechanical support and enhance tissue regeneration. These requirements result in conflicting design goals. For example, increased temporary mechanical function requires a dense scaffold while enhanced cell/gene delivery requires a porous scaffold. This paper demonstrates an image-based homogenization optimization approach that can design scaffold microstructure, scaffold material and regenerate tissue microstructure to meet conflicting design requirements. In addition, constraints to ensure adequate cell/gene delivery can be introduced using a minimum porosity threshold. Homogenization theory was used to compute relationships between scaffold microstructure and effective stiffness. The functional relationships were used in the MATLAB optimization toolbox to compute optimal pore dimensions and scaffold material such that the scaffold and regenerate tissue effective stiffness matched that of native bone stiffness. The scaffold design was converted into STL format for solid free-form fabrication. Scaffolds were designed that matched mandibular condyle trabecular bone properties. Results showed excellent agreement between native bone properties and designed scaffold properties (all R2 > 0.89). Finally, example scaffolds were built from hydroxyapatite using a SFF casting technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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