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Title: Micromechanical study of the load transfer in a polycaprolactone–collagen hybrid scaffold when subjected to unconfined and confined compression
Authors: Castro, A. P. G.
Lacroix, D.
Keywords: Tissue engineering
Finite element simulation
Biomechanical stimuli
Issue Date: Nov-2018
Publisher: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Citation: Castro, A.P.G.; Lacroix, D. (2018). Micromechanical study of the load transfer in a polycaprolactone–collagen hybrid scaffold when subjected to unconfined and confined compression. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 17, 531-541.
Abstract: Abstract Scaffolds are used in diverse tissue engineering applications as hosts for cell proliferation and extracellular matrix formation. One of the most used tissue engineering materials is collagen, which is well known to be a natural biomaterial, also frequently used as cell substrate, given its natural abundance and intrinsic biocompatibility. This study aims to evaluate how the macroscopic biomechanical stimuli applied on a construct made of polycaprolactone scaffold embedded in a collagen substrate translate into microscopic stimuli at the cell level.Eight poro-hyperelastic finite element models of 3D printed hybrid scaffolds from the same batch were created, along with an equivalent model of the idealized geometry of that scaffold. When applying an 8% confined compression at the macroscopic level, local fluid flow of up to 20μm/s and octahedral strain levels mostly under 20% were calculated in the collagen substrate. Conversely unconfined compression induced fluid flow of up to 10μm/s and octahedral strain from 10 to 35%. No relevant differences were found amongst the scaffold-specific models. Following the mechanoregulation theory based on Prendergast et al. (J Biomech 30:539–548, 1997. S0021-9290(96)00140-6), those results suggest that mainly cartilage or fibrous tissue formation would be expected to occur under unconfined or confined compression, respectively. This in silico study helps to quantify the microscopic stimuli that are present within the collagen substrate and that will affect cell response under in vitro bioreactor mechanical stimulation or even after implantation.
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