The fabrication of porous scaffolds with complex architectures represents a challenge in tissue engineering. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to construct tissue-engineered bone repair scaffolds with tight pore size distributions and controlled geometries using 3D printing techniques. In this context, this work aims to evaluate the 3D printing process in order to study its potential for scaffold fabrication. Despite the wide use of porous scaffolds, its design, geometry optimization and mechanical assessment, for successful integration in tissue engineering, require further developments and studies to help in its optimal design. In the present work, cubical scaffolds prototypes with different architectures were produced by 3D printing technology. Scaffolds dimensional accuracy, porosity and mechanical stiffness were comprehensive analysed by means of an experimental investigation. The microporosity, inherent to the fabrication process, and the mechanical characterization of the bulk material were also considered. This paper addresses methodologies to overcome some limitations of 3D printing technique to produce scaffolds for tissue engineering and proposes procedures for their suitable mechanical characterization. Results of this work indicate that 3D printing process has great potential for scaffold fabrication.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2011|
- 3D Printing
- Rapid prototyping
- Scaffold prototypes