Micro-CT based finite element models for elastic properties of glass–ceramic scaffolds

Stefano Tagliabue, Erica Rossi, Francesco Baino, Chiara Vitale-Brovarone, Dario Gastaldi, Pasquale Vena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, the mechanical properties of porous glass–ceramic scaffolds are investigated by means of three-dimensional finite element models based on micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scan data. In particular, the quantitative relationship between the morpho-architectural features of the obtained scaffolds, such as macroscopic porosity and strut thickness, and elastic properties, is sought. The macroscopic elastic properties of the scaffolds have been obtained through numerical homogenization approaches using the mechanical characteristics of the solid walls of the scaffolds (assessed through nanoindentation) as input parameters for the numerical simulations. Anisotropic mechanical properties of the produced scaffolds have also been investigated by defining a suitable anisotropy index. A comparison with morphological data obtained through the micro-CT scans is also presented. The proposed study shows that the produced glass–ceramic scaffolds exhibited a macroscopic porosity ranging between 29% and 97% which corresponds to an average stiffness ranging between 42.4 GPa and 36 MPa. A quantitative estimation of the isotropy of the macroscopic elastic properties has been performed showing that the samples with higher solid fractions were those closest to an isotropic material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Finite element model
  • Glass–ceramic
  • Micro-CT
  • Porosity
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

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