Modeling of porous structures for rapid prototyping of tissue engineering scaffolds
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Rapid prototyping techniques are increasingly used to build porous scaffolds for the regeneration of biological tissues. This paper deals with one of the most critical tasks involved by this option, i.e., the preparation of geometric data for layered fabrication. Compared to other existing approaches, this work aims at both reducing the required effort in interactive modeling and allowing a standard use of commercial prototyping systems without resorting to special treatments. The proposed method adds a porous structure to the geometric model of tissue surface in polygon format. The structure is of the Cartesian type and consists of an interconnected network of rectilinear channels, whose dimensions can be varied according to desired porosity and pore size. The algorithmic procedures needed for the generation of the porous structure have been implemented in a demonstrative software tool. Sample models of scaffolds have been generated and used to build prototype parts by different fabrication processes and systems.
KeywordsTissue engineering Scaffold Porosity Rapid prototyping
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