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Image-based analysis of the internal microstructure of bone replacement scaffolds fabricated by 3D printing

S.H. Irsen et al.
Developments in X-Ray Tomography V


Rapid Prototyping and especially the 3D printing, allows generating complex porous ceramic scaffolds directly from powders. Furthermore, these technologies allow manufacturing patient-specific implants of centimeter size with an internal pore network to mimic bony structures including vascularization. Besides the biocompatibility properties of the base material, a high degree of open, interconnected porosity is crucial for the success of the synthetic bone graft. Pores with diameters between 100 and 500 _m are the prerequisite for vascularization to supply the cells with nutrients and oxygen, because simple diffusion transport is ineffective. The quantification of porosity on the macro-, micro-, and nanometer scale using well-established techniques such as Hg-porosimetry and electron microscopy is restricted. Alternatively, we have applied synchrotron-radiation-based micro computed tomography (SR_CT) to determine the porosity with high precision and to validate the macroscopic internal structure of the scaffold. We report on the difficulties in intensity-based segmentation for nanoporous materials but we also elucidate the power of SR_CT in the quantitative analysis of the pores at the different length scales.

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  author = {S.H. Irsen et al.},
  title = {Image-based analysis of the internal microstructure of bone replacement scaffolds fabricated by 3D printing},
  booktitle = {Developments in X-Ray Tomography V},
  year = {2006},
  pages = {631809-1-10},
  volume = {6318},
  editor = {U. Bonse},
  series = {Proc. of SPIE},
  publisher = {SPIE},
  keywords = {}