Towards a New Approach to Analyse Quality Control and Morphometric Variability in a Scaffold
Rapid prototyping is a powerful manufacturing technique to fabricate tissue engineering scaffolds as it provides control over scaffold architecture while processing biomaterials. For the successful integration of tissue engineering scaffolds in clinical applications, the manufacturing process needs to the meet good manufacturing practice standards delivering quality and reproducibility. Unexpected variations in the scaffold microstructure due to limitations in the fabrication process could lead to undesired mechanical stimuli at the cell level. Thus, if cell activity is affected, tissue growth will be perturbed. In this chapter, an in silico protocol to analyse fabricated scaffolds is presented and used to evaluate a commercial regular porous scaffold from 3D Biotek. The actual μCT-based morphology of five fabricated samples was analysed and then integrated into computational fluid dynamics simulations to analyse the local fluid flow conditions. The fabricated samples present variations in the internal microstructured and in the local fluid dynamics compared to the CAD scaffold. In addition, the five samples show intersample variability as well as internal variability from pore to pore. It is demonstrated that geometrical imperfections can deviate scaffold performance from the intended purpose. In this chapter, it is shown that in silico methods can be part of standard inspection protocols for tissue engineering applications.
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing Scaffold CFD GMP Tissue engineering
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