Evaluation of mechanical strength and bone regeneration ability of 3D printed kagome-structure scaffold using rabbit calvarial defect model

Se Hwan Lee, Kang Gon Lee, Jong Hyun Hwang, Yong Sang Cho, Kang Sik Lee, Hun Jin Jeong, Sang Hyug Park, Yongdoo Park, Young Sam Cho, Bu Kyu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In clinical conditions, the reconstructions performed in the complex and three-dimensional bone defects in the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) area are often limited in facial esthetics and jaw function. Furthermore, to regenerate a bone defect in the CMF area, the used scaffold should have unique features such as different mechanical strength or physical property suitable for complex shape and function of the CMF bones. Therefore, a three-dimensional synthetic scaffold with a patient-customized structure and mechanical properties is more suitable for the regeneration. In this study, the customized kagome-structure scaffold with complex morphology was assessed in vivo. The customized 3D kagome-structure model for the defect region was designed according to data using 3D computed tomography. The kagome-structure scaffold and the conventional grid-structure scaffold (as a control group) were fabricated using a 3D printer with a precision extruding deposition head using poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). The two types of 3D printed scaffolds were implanted in the 8-shaped defect model on the rabbit calvarium. To evaluate the osteoconductivity of the implanted scaffolds, new bone formation, hematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemistry, and Masson's trichrome staining were evaluated for 16 weeks after implantation of the scaffolds. To assess the mechanical robustness and stability of the kagome-structure scaffold, numerical analysis considering the ‘elastic-perfectly plastic’ material properties and deformation under self-contact condition was performed by finite element analysis. As a result, the kagome-structure scaffold fabricated using 3D printing technology showed excellent mechanical robustness and enhanced osteoconductivity than the control group. Therefore, the 3D printed kagome-structure scaffold can be a better option for bone regeneration in complex and large defects than the conventional grid-type 3D printed scaffold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-959
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare , Republic of Korea (grant number: HI14C2143 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • 3D printing
  • Bone defect model
  • Customized bone graft
  • Kagome-structure scaffold
  • Poly-caprolactone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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