Modeling Bio-scaffolds: Structural and Fluid Transport Characterization Based on 3D Imaging Data
Bio-scaffolds - which are commonly open celled porous structures - are increasingly used for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Numerical studies exploring the influence of architecture on structural and flow characteristics of porous media have been carried out assuming an idealized repeating unit cell approach. However, a number of studies have shown that the bulk properties of such irregular structures are poorly modeled using idealized unit cell approaches. High resolution three dimensional imaging techniques such as Micro-CT allow realistic porous structures to be straightforwardly and accurately scanned with sub-micron image resolutions. Combined with novel meshing techniques, these imaging techniques allow for robust conversion of the 3D data into models suitable for physics-based simulations. A number of studies will be shown which demonstrate the ease with which fidelic models can be generated and parametric studies will be presented which explore both fluid flow and structural properties of a range of bio-scaffolds.