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MicroCT/Micromechanics-Based Finite Element Models and Quasi-Static Unloading Tests Deliver Consistent Values for Young's Modulus of Rapid-Prototyped Polymer-Ceramic Tissue Engineering Scaffold

K.W. Luczynski1, A. Dejaco1, O. Lahayne1, J. Jaroszewicz2, W.Swieszkowski2, C. Hellmich1

Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna, Austria.
Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty for Materials Science and Engineering, Warsaw, Poland.

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2012, 87(6), 505-529. https://doi.org/10.3970/cmes.2012.087.505

Abstract

A 71 volume-% macroporous tissue engineering scaffold made of poly-l-lactide (PLLA) with 10 mass-% of pseudo-spherical tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) inclusions (exhibiting diameters in the range of several nanometers) was microCT-scanned. The corresponding stack of images was converted into regular Finite Element (FE) models consisting of around 100,000 to 1,000,000 finite elements. Therefore, the attenuation-related, voxel-specific grey values were converted into TCP-contents, and the latter, together with nanoindentation tests,entered a homogenization scheme of the Mori-Tanaka type, as to deliver voxel-specific (and hence, finite element-specific) elastic properties. These FE models were uniaxially loaded, giving access to the macroscopic Young's modulus of the entire scaffold, amounting to EFE=142.86±2.68MPa. The reliability of the FE simulations was shown through comparison with results from quasi-static unloading tests on the same scaffold sample, delivering an experimental value of the longitudinal Young's modulus, Eunl=125.85±19.33MPa. The uniaxial test simulations also provided access to Poisson's ratios in the transverse material directions, which turned out to be quasi-cubic, and amounted, on average, to 0.0638±0.0136. This is much smaller than the Poisson's ratio of the solid phase made up of PLLA-TCP, which amounted to 0.44. This indicates that on the microscopic level, the pores are, on average, much more deformed, than the solid phase made of PLLA-TCP. Namely, significant (micro)deformation of the latter is restricted to the junctions between the rapid-prototyped beams making up the scaffold.

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Luczynski, K., Dejaco, A., Lahayne, O., Jaroszewicz, J., , W. et al. (2012). MicroCT/Micromechanics-Based Finite Element Models and Quasi-Static Unloading Tests Deliver Consistent Values for Young's Modulus of Rapid-Prototyped Polymer-Ceramic Tissue Engineering Scaffold. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 87(6), 505–529.



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