Research Papers

Modeling Material-Degradation-Induced Elastic Property of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

[+] Author and Article Information
N. K. Bawolin, M. G. Li, W. J. Zhang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada

X. B. Chen1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canadaxbc719@mail.usask.ca


Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 132(11), 111001 (Oct 12, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002551 History: Received January 22, 2010; Revised August 14, 2010; Posted September 15, 2010; Published October 12, 2010; Online October 12, 2010

The mechanical properties of tissue engineering scaffolds play a critical role in the success of repairing damaged tissues/organs. Determining the mechanical properties has proven to be a challenging task as these properties are not constant but depend upon time as the scaffold degrades. In this study, the modeling of the time-dependent mechanical properties of a scaffold is performed based on the concept of finite element model updating. This modeling approach contains three steps: (1) development of a finite element model for the effective mechanical properties of the scaffold, (2) parametrizing the finite element model by selecting parameters associated with the scaffold microstructure and/or material properties, which vary with scaffold degradation, and (3) identifying selected parameters as functions of time based on measurements from the tests on the scaffold mechanical properties as they degrade. To validate the developed model, scaffolds were made from the biocompatible polymer polycaprolactone (PCL) mixed with hydroxylapatite (HA) nanoparticles and their mechanical properties were examined in terms of the Young modulus. Based on the bulk degradation exhibited by the PCL/HA scaffold, the molecular weight was selected for model updating. With the identified molecular weight, the finite element model developed was effective for predicting the time-dependent mechanical properties of PCL/HA scaffolds during degradation.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Representative volume of a scaffold

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Figure 2

Scaffold sample with a size of 5×5×5 mm3 for mechanical property testing

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Figure 3

Microstructure of a scaffold

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Figure 4

Crystallinity of updating and validation of scaffolds with time

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Figure 5

Longitudinal compressive modulus of scaffolds with time

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Figure 6

Molecular weight estimates for updating scaffolds from FEM model updating

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Figure 7

Experiment and simulation results of the elasticity modulus of HA/PCL scaffolds



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