On stiffness of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering - a numerical study

S. Sturm, S. Zhou, Y.W. Mai, Qing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Tissue scaffolds are typically designed and fabricated to match native bone properties. However, it is unclear if this would lead to the best tissue ingrowth outcome within the scaffold as neo-tissue keeps changing the stiffness of entire construct. This paper presents a numerical method to address this issue for design optimization and assessment of tissue scaffolds. The elasticity tensors of two different types of bones are weighted by different multipliers before being used as the targets in scaffold design. A cost function regarding the difference between the effective elasticity tensor, calculated by the homogenization technique, and the target tensor, is minimized by using topology optimization procedure. It is found that different stiffnesses can lead to different remodeling results. The comparison confirms that bone remodeling is at its best when the scaffold elastic tensor matches or is slightly higher than the elastic properties of the host bone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1744
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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