The design and in vivo testing of a locally stiffness-matched porous scaffold

Shaaz Ghouse, Natalie Reznikov, Oliver R. Boughton, Sarat Babu, K. C. Geoffrey Ng, Gordon Blunn, Justin P. Cobb, Molly M. Stevens, Jonathan R. T. Jeffers

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An increasing volume of work supports utilising the mechanobiology of bone for bone ingrowth into a porous scaffold. However, typically during in vivo testing of implants, the mechanical properties of the bone being replaced are not quantified. Consequently there remains inconsistencies in the literature regarding ‘optimum’ pore size and porosity for bone ingrowth. It is also difficult to compare ingrowth results between studies and to translate in vivo animal testing to human subjects without understanding the mechanical environment. This study presents a clinically applicable approach to determining local bone mechanical properties and design of a scaffold with similar properties. The performance of the scaffold was investigated in vivo in an ovine model.

The density, modulus and strength of trabecular bone from the medial femoral condyle from ovine bones was characterised and power-law relationships were established. A porous titanium scaffold, intended to maintain bone mechanical homeostasis, was additively manufactured and implanted into the medial femoral condyle of 6 ewes. The stiffness of the scaffold varied throughout the heterogeneous structure and matched the stiffness variation of bone at the surgical site. Bone ingrowth into the scaffold was 10.73 ± 2.97% after 6 weeks. Fine woven bone, in the interior of the scaffold, and intense formations of more developed woven bone overlaid with lamellar bone at the implant periphery were observed. The workflow presented will allow future in vivo testing to test specific bone strains on bone ingrowth in response to a scaffold and allow for better translation from in vivo testing to commercial implants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Materials Today
Early online date14 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • RCUK
  • EP/K027549/1
  • Wellcome Trust
  • 098411/Z/12/Z
  • 097816/Z/11/B
  • MRC
  • FC001999


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