Abstract

Pneumatic micro-extrusion (PME) is a high-resolution direct-write additive manufacturing method, which has been widely utilized for the fabrication of biological tissues, structures, and organs. The PME process allows for non-contact, multi-material deposition of a wide range of functional bio-inks for tissue engineering applications. However, the PME process is inherently complex, governed by complex multi-physics phenomena. Consequently, investigation of the effects of significant process parameters and their interactions on scaffold functional properties would be inevitable.

The overarching goal of this research work is to fabricate biocompatible, biodegradable, and porous bone scaffolds for the treatment of large osseous fractures. In pursuit of this goal, the objective of the work is to investigate the compressive properties of triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) bone scaffolds, composed of polycaprolactone (PCL) and fabricated using the PME additive manufacturing process. In this study, the experimental characterization of TPMS bone scaffolds was on the basis of a designed experiment. The compressive properties of the fabricated bone scaffolds were measured using a compression testing machine. Diamond as well as Icosahedron designs led to fabricated bone scaffolds having relatively high compression moduli. The results of this study pave the way for optimal fabrication of complex bone scaffolds for the treatment of bone fractures and defects.

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