Micro computed tomography based finite element models for elastic and strength properties of 3D printed glass scaffolds

Erica Farina, Dario Gastaldi, Francesco Baino, Enrica Vernè, Jonathan Massera, Gissur Orlygsson, Pasquale Vena

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract: In this study, the mechanical properties of glass scaffolds manufactured by robocasting are investigated through micro computed tomography (μ- CT) based finite element modeling. The scaffolds are obtained by printing fibers along two perpendicular directions on parallel layers with a 90 tilting between two adjacent layers. A parametric study is first presented with the purpose to assess the effect of the major design parameters on the elastic and strength properties of the scaffold; the mechanical properties of the 3D printed scaffolds are eventually estimated by using the μ- CT data with the aim of assessing the effect of defects on the final geometry which are intrinsic in the manufacturing process. The macroscopic elastic modulus and strength of the scaffold are determined by simulating a uniaxial compressive test along the direction which is perpendicular to the layers of the printed fibers. An iterative approach has been used in order to determine the scaffold strength. A partial validation of the computational model has been obtained through comparison of the computed results with experimental values presented in [10] on a ceramic scaffold having the same geometry. All the results have been presented as non-dimensional values. The finite element analyses have shown which of the selected design parameters have the major effect on the stiffness and strength, being the porosity and fiber shifting between adjacent layers the most important ones. The analyses carried out on the basis of the μ- CT data have shown elastic modulus and strength which are consistent with that found on ideal geometry at similar macroscopic porosity. Graphic Abstract: In this work, elastic and strength properties of glass-ceramic Bone Tissue Engineering scaffolds manufactured by robocasting are investigated through micro-CT based finite element models. An incremental simulation using a multi-grid finite element solver has been implemented to perform a parametric study on the effect of the major geometrical parameters of the scaffold design as well as the effect. Eventually, the effect of the geometrical imperfections deriving from the 3D printing process has been investigated by means of micro-CT image-based models. The porosity and the shifting between adjacent layers play the dominant role in determing elasticity and strength of the scaffolds. The elastic and strength properties of 3D-printed real scaffold were assessed to be consistent those obtained from the idealized geometric models, at least for the subdomain used in this study.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)292-306
    Number of pages15
    JournalActa Mechanica Sinica/Lixue Xuebao
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bioactive glass
    • Finite element model
    • Scaffold, porosity
    • μ- CT

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computational Mechanics
    • Mechanical Engineering


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