Micro-CT-based screening of biomechanical and structural properties of bone tissue engineering scaffolds
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The development of successful scaffolds for bone tissue engineering requires a concurrent engineering approach that combines different research fields. In order to limit in vivo experiments and reduce trial and error research, a scaffold screening technique has been developed. In this protocol seven structural and three biomechanical properties of potential scaffold materials are quantified and compared to the desired values. The property assessment is done on computer models of the scaffolds, and these models are based on micro-CT images. As a proof of principle, three porous scaffolds were evaluated with this protocol: stainless steel, hydroxyapatite, and titanium. These examples demonstrate that the modelling technique is able to quantify important scaffold properties. Thus, a powerful technique for automated screening of bone tissue engineering scaffolds has been developed that in a later stage may be used to tailor the scaffold properties to specific requirements.
KeywordsBone tissue engineering Scaffold Morphology Microfocus computed tomography Biomechanics
This work is part of the Guided Bone Engineering (GBE) project, an interdisciplinary research project funded by The Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT-Flanders) under the program for strategic basic research (GBOU-020181). The scientific GBE partners are the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, the Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design and the Department of Rheumatology of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Polymer Materials Research Group of the Ghent University and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. Major Flemish industrial actors also support this project. Hans Van Oosterwyck is a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders.
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