Child's Nervous System

, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp 1553–1562 | Cite as

Exploring for the optimal structural design for the 3D-printing technology for cranial reconstruction: a biomechanical and histological study comparison of solid vs. porous structure

  • Jun Young Lim
  • Namhyun Kim
  • Jong-Chul Park
  • Sun K. Yoo
  • Dong Ah Shin
  • Kyu-Won ShimEmail author
Original Paper



Cranioplasty for recovering skull defects carries the risk for a number of complications. Various materials are used, including autologous bone graft, metallic materials, and non-metallic materials, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. If the use of autologous bone is not feasible, those artificial materials also have constraints in the case of complex anatomy and/or irregular defects.

Material and methods

This study used metal 3D-printing technology to overcome these existing drawbacks and analyze the clinical and mechanical performance requirements. To find an optimal structure that satisfied the structural and mechanical stability requirements, we evaluated biomechanical stability using finite element analysis (FEA) and mechanical testing. To ensure clinical applicability, the model was subjected to histological evaluation. Each specimen was implanted in the femur of a rabbit and was evaluated using histological measurements and push-out test.

Results and Conclusion

We believe that our data will provide the basis for future applications of a variety of unit structures and further clinical trials and research, as well as the direction for the study of other patient-specific implants.


3D-printing Cranioplasty Additive manufacturing Biomechanical strength Bone-implant contact Bone induction rate 



This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2016 (6-2016-0075). Special thanks to Su-Heon Woo (School of Biomechanical Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae, Korea; Medyssey Co, Ltd. Jecheon, Korea) for his contribution.

Compliance with ethical standards


All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Young Lim
    • 1
  • Namhyun Kim
    • 2
  • Jong-Chul Park
    • 2
  • Sun K. Yoo
    • 2
  • Dong Ah Shin
    • 3
  • Kyu-Won Shim
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Graduate SchoolYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Medical Engineering, College of MedicineYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Neurosurgery, Spine and Spinal Cord Institute, College of MedicineYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Severance Children’s Hospital, College of MedicineYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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