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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2008 Oct;87(1):42-8. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.31065.

Mechanical and flow characterization of Sponceram carriers: Evaluation by homogenization theory and experimental validation.

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Group of Structural Mechanics and Materials Modeling, Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.


The experimental evidence of the dependence of cell proliferation and differentiation in vitro on the mechanical environment aims to the need of characterization of porous scaffolds in terms of mechanical and flow properties. In this sense, the Young's modulus and intrinsic permeability for three types of Sponceram(R) cell carriers developed for in-vitro applications are here analyzed. Young's modulus and ultimate compression stress were obtained by performing a two-plates compression test carried out in a universal microtester machine Instron(R) for several representative samples of each specimen. A permeability test was also implemented to correlate flow rate and pressure gradient in the linear range. Furthermore, porosity and specific surface were obtained through micro-CTs of the scaffold microstructure. These experimental data were compared with those obtained numerically by homogenization for several representative volume elements (RVEs) of the scaffolds microstructure. The good agreement found between numerical and experimental results let us consider that the use of numerical techniques is an attractive tool for the analysis of complex scaffold microstructures. Moreover, Sponceram(R) carriers are shown to have very appropriate properties as bone bioscaffolds which let us recommending further clinical and numerical research on these specific materials.

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