Fatigue behavior of As-built selective laser melted titanium scaffolds with sheet-based gyroid microarchitecture for bone tissue engineering.
Selective laser melting (SLM) has enabled the production of porous titanium structures with biological and mechanical properties that mimic bone for orthopedic applications. These porous structures have a reduced effective stiffness which leads to improved mechanotransduction between the implant and bone. Triply periodic minimal surfaces (TMPS), specifically the sheet-based gyroid structures, have improved compressive fatigue resistance due lack of stress concentrations. Sheet-based gyroid microarchitectures also have high surface area, permeability, and zero mean curvature. This study examines the effects of the gyroid microarchitectural design in parallel with SLM parameters on structure and function of as-built titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V ELI) scaffolds. Scaffold design was varied by varying unit cell size and wall thickness to produce scaffolds with porosity within the range of trabecular bone (50-90%). Manufacturer's default and refined laser parameters were used to examine the effect of input energy density on mechanical properties. Scaffolds exhibited a stretching-dominated deformation behavior under both compressive and tensile loading, and porosity dependent stiffness and strength. Internal void defects were observed within the walls of the gyroids structure, serving as sites for crack initiation leading to failure. Refinement of laser parameters resulted in increased compressive and tensile fatigue behavior, particularly for thicker walled gyroid microarchitectures, while thinner walls showed no significant change. The observed properties of as-built gyroid sheet microarchitectures indicates that these structures have potential for use in bone engineering applications. Furthermore, these results highlight the importance of parallel design and processing optimization for complex sheet-based porous structures produced via SLM. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing technology which produces complex porous scaffolds for orthopedic applications. Titanium alloy scaffolds with novel sheet-based gyroid microarchitectures were produced via SLM and evaluated for mechanical performance including fatigue behavior. Gyroid structures are function based topologies have been hypothesized to be promising for tissue engineering scaffolds due to the high surface area to volume ratio, zero mean curvature, and high permeability. This paper presents the effects of scaffold design and processing parameters in parallel, a novel study in the field on bone tissue scaffolds produced via additive manufacturing. Additionally, the comparison of compressive and tensile behavior of scaffolds presented is important in characterizing behavior and failure mechanisms of porous metals which undergo complex loading in orthopedic applications.
Kelly, CN; Francovich, J; Julmi, S; Safranski, D; Guldberg, RE; Maier, HJ; Gall, K
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