Development of a Tissue Engineering Scaffold Structure Library for Rapid Prototyping. Part 2: Parametric Library and Assembly Program

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Rapid prototyping (RP) techniques have been found to be advantageous for tissue engineering (TE) scaffold fabrication due to their ability to address and overcome the problems of uncontrollable microstructure and the feasibility issues of complex three-dimensional structures found in conventional processing techniques. This research proposes a novel approach for TE scaffold manufacture using RP techniques. The approach involves the integration of medical imaging devices (CT/MRI) for the acquisition of anatomic structural data, three-dimensional CAD modelling for designing and creating the digital scaffold models and RP for fabricating the physical scaffolds. To aid the user in CAD modelling, a standard parametric library of scaffold structures is designed and developed. With the library, a user can select the geometry of the scaffold unit cell and size it to suit the end application of the TE scaffold. A developed application program will then assemble the scaffold structure from the selected unit cell, following the surface profile of the anatomic structure to be replicated. A physical scaffold will then be built using an RP system.

ID="A1"Correspondance and offprint requests to: Dr C. K. Chua, School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798. E-mail: mckchua@ntu.edu.sg