The purpose of this paper is to present a topology-based tissue scaffold design methodology to accurately represent the heterogeneous internal architecture of tissues/organs.Design/methodology/approachAn image analysis technique is used that digitizes the topology information contained in medical images of tissues/organs. A weighted topology reconstruction algorithm is implemented to represent the heterogeneity with parametric functions. The parametric functions are then used to map the spatial material distribution following voxelization. The generated chronological information yields hierarchical tool-path points which are directly transferred to the three-dimensional (3D) bio-printer through a proposed generic platform called Application Program Interface (API). This seamless data corridor between design (virtual) and fabrication (physical) ensures the manufacturability of personalized heterogeneous porous scaffold structure without any CAD/STL file.FindingsThe proposed methodology is implemented to verify the effectiveness of the approach and the designed example structures are bio-fabricated with a deposition-based bio-additive manufacturing system. The designed and fabricated heterogeneous structures are evaluated which shows conforming porosity distribution compared to uniform method.Originality/valueIn bio-fabrication process, the generated bio-models with boundary representation (B-rep) or surface tessellation (mesh) do not capture the internal architectural information. This paper provides a design methodology for scaffold structure mimicking the native tissue/organ architecture and direct fabricating the structure without reconstructing the CAD model. Therefore, designing and direct bio-printing the heterogeneous topology of tissue scaffolds from medical images minimize the disparity between the internal architecture of target tissue and its scaffold.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 18, 2018
Keywords: Porosity; Bio-modeling; Internal heterogeneity; Bio-manufacturing