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Integrated additive design and manufacturing approach for the bioengineering of bone scaffolds for favorable mechanical and biological properties

: Valainis, Dvina; Dondl, Patrick; Foehr, Peter; Burgkart, Rainer; Kalkhof, Stefan; Duda, Georg N.; Griensven, Martijn van; Poh, Patrina S.P.


Biomedical materials 14 (2019), No.6, Art. 065002, 14 pp.
ISSN: 1748-6041
ISSN: 1748-605X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()
triply periodic minimal surfaces; cell migration; finite element simulation; biomechanical testing; adipose-derived mesenchymalstromal cells; Polycaprolactone

Additive manufacturing (AM) presents the possibility of personalized bone scaffolds with unprecedented structural and functional designs. In contrast to earlier conventional design concepts, e.g. raster-angle, a workflow was established to produce scaffolds with triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) architecture. A core challenge is the realization of such structures using melt-extrusion based 3D printing. This study presents methods for generation of scaffold design files, finite element (FE) analysis of scaffold Young's moduli, AM of scaffolds with polycaprolactone (PCL), and a customized in vitro assay to evaluate cell migration. The reliability of FE analysis when using computer-aided designed models as input may be impeded by anomalies introduced during 3D printing. Using micro-computed tomography reconstructions of printed scaffolds as an input for numerical simulation in comparison to experimentally obtained scaffold Young's moduli showed a moderate trend (R 2 = 0.62). Interestingly, in a preliminary cell migration assay, adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AdMSC) migrated furthest on PCL scaffolds with Diamond, followed by Gyroid and Schwarz P architectures. A similar trend, but with an accelerated AdMSC migration rate, was observed for PCL scaffolds surface coated with calcium-phosphate-based apatite. We elaborate on the importance of start-to-finish integration of all steps of AM, i.e. design, engineering and manufacturing. Using such a workflow, specific biological and mechanical functionality, e.g. improved regeneration via enhanced cell migration and higher structural integrity, may be realized for scaffolds intended as temporary guiding structures for endogenous tissue regeneration.