Design, analysis and additive manufacturing of porous structures for biocompatible micro-scale scaffolds

Lev Podshivalov, Cynthia M. Gomes, Andrea Zocca, Jens Guenster, Pinhas Bar-Yoseph, Anath Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Advancements in the fields of biocompatible materials, manufacturing processes, computational methods and medicine have led to the emergence of a new field: micro-scale scaffolds for bone replacement and regeneration. Yet most such scaffolds produced today are characterized by very basic geometry, and their microstructure differs greatly from that of the actual tissue they are intended to replace. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for generating micro-scale scaffolds based on processing actual micro-CT images and then reconstructing a highly accurate geometrical model. This model is manufactured by means of a state-of-the-art 3D additive manufacturing process from biocompatible materials. At the micro-scale level, these scaffolds are very similar to the original tissue, thus interfacing better with the surrounding tissue and facilitating more efficient rehabilitation for the patient. Moreover, the approach facilitates the design and manufacture of patient-specific scaffolds which can copy patients' exact structural and mechanical characteristics, taking into account their physical condition and medical history. By means of multi-resolution volumetric modeling methods, scaffold porosity can also be adapted according to specific mechanical requirements. The process of designing and manufacturing micro-scale scaffolds involves five major stages: (a) building a volumetric multi-resolution model from micro-CT images; (b) generation of surface geometric model in STL format; (c) additive manufacturing of the scaffold; (d) scaffold shape verification relative to the geometric design; and (e) verification of mechanical properties through finite element analysis. In this research, all the proposed stages of the approach were tested. The input included micro-CT scans of porous ceramic structure, which is quite similar to commercial porous scaffolds. The results show that the proposed method is feasible for design and manufacture of micro-scale scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
StatePublished - 2013
Event1st CIRP Conference on BioManufacturing, BioM 2013 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 3 Mar 20135 Mar 2013


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Ceramics
  • Micro-scale bone scaffolds
  • Multiresolution modeling
  • Multiscale FEA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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