Micromechanics of bone tissue-engineering scaffolds, based on resolution error-cleared computer tomography
Synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SRμCT) revealed the microstructure of a CEL2 glass–ceramic scaffold with macropores of several hundred microns characteristic length, in terms of the voxel-by-voxel 3D distribution of the attenuation coefficients throughout the scanned space. The probability density function of all attenuation coefficients related to the macroporous space inside the scaffold gives access to the tomograph-specific machine error included in the SRμCT measurements (also referred to as instrumental resolution function). After Lorentz function-based clearing of the measured CT data from the systematic resolution error, the voxel-specific attenuation information of the voxels representing the solid skeleton is translated into the composition of the material inside one voxel, in terms of the nanoporosity embedded in a dense CEL2 glass–ceramic matrix. Based on voxel-invariant elastic properties of dense CEL2 glass–ceramic, continuum micromechanics allows for translation of the voxel-specific nanoporosity into voxel-specific elastic properties. They serve as input for Finite Element analyses of the scaffold structure. Young's modulus of a specific CT-scanned macroporous scaffold sample, predicted from a Finite Element simulation of a uniaxial compression test, agrees well with the experimental value obtained from an ultrasonic test on the same sample. This highlights the satisfactory predictive capabilities of the presented approach.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 30, Issue 12, April 2009, Pages 2411–2419