A review on the use of computational methods to characterize, design, and optimize tissue engineering scaffolds, with a potential in 3D printing fabrication

Shuo Zhang, Sanjairaj Vijayavenkataraman, Wen Feng Lu, Jerry Y.H. Fuh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The design and fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds is a highly complex process. In order to provide a proper architecture for cells to grow, proliferate, and differentiate to form tissues, scaffolds have to be made with suitable properties. However, the limited structural designs and conventional fabrication techniques severely cripple the improvement of scaffold properties. To overcome these limitations, many researchers have recently adopted computational methods combined with 3D printing techniques as a new approach for scaffold design and fabrication. This approach allows scaffolds to be designed and fabricated with highly complex microstructures and good control and accuracy. Previous works have also shown this approach to be a very useful tool to predict the scaffold properties and to optimize the scaffold designs with a great reduction of experimental iterations. As this approach combining computational methods and 3D printing techniques for scaffold design and fabrication has many advantages over the conventional trial-and-error based approach, it is imperative to provide a state-of-the-art review on the topic. To this end, this article reviews the various applications of computational methods in scaffold design and simulation; it also briefly reviews the application of 3D printing techniques to fabricate the computationally designed scaffolds. Finally, the limitations and future trends of this approach are discussed. Overall, this review will enable readers to understand the benefits of using computational methods coupled with 3D printing to design and fabricate scaffolds, and thus help researchers to improve and optimize the scaffold properties for future tissue engineering research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1329-1351
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • computational design
  • design optimization
  • finite element analysis
  • tissue engineering scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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