A finite element study of geometrical design of bone tissue scaffolds

Akbari, Sadaf, Suarez Bolivar, Vanessa and Khazaeinejad, Payam (2022) A finite element study of geometrical design of bone tissue scaffolds. In: The 2022 Annual Conference of the UK Association for Computational Mechanics; 20-22 Apr 2022, Nottingham, U.K.. (Unpublished)


The growing prevalence of osteoporosis and other bone related disorders emphasise on the importance of developing mechanically and biologically reliable bone scaffolds. It has been reported that the geometry of the scaffold has a significant role in the process of bone tissue regeneration [1]. Due to complexity of biological processes, different requirements of scaffolds based on application and target organ, and high expenses of tissue engineering processes, achieving high reproducibility on an industrial scale is often challenging. Calibrated finite element models that are optimized based on experimental data have shown significant promise for reducing the duration and frequency of experimental procedures while achieving reliable results on properties of tissue scaffolds with lower costs compared to physical experiments. In this study, a series of finite element analyses are carried out to compare and contrast the pore size, stiffness and strength of common geometries used in the architecture design of bone tissue scaffolds. Taguchi method is employed as a structured approach to achieve the most optimal combination of controllable process parameters, and to design polylactic acid (PLA) and polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) scaffolds with excellent mechanical properties and appropriate pore size. It is found that the mechanical properties and porosity of the scaffolds are largely governed by their geometries, strand shape and pore size. Numerical results show that a scaffold with cylindrical or cubic structure possesses significantly higher mechanical properties compared to a scaffold with pentagonal prism structure.

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