Morphological and Mechanical Biomimetic Bone Structures

R. Parwani, M. Curto, A. P. Kao, P. J. Rowley, M. Pani, G. Tozzi, A. H. Barber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cortical bone is an example of a mineralized tissue containing a compositional distribution of hard and soft phases in 3-dimensional space for mechanical function. X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is able to describe this compositional and morphological complexity but methods to provide a physical output with comparable mechanical function is lacking. A workflow is presented here to establish a method of using high contrast XCT to establish a virtual model of cortical bone that is manufactured using a multiple material capable 3D printer. Resultant 3D printed structures were produced based on more and less remodelled bone designs exhibiting a range of secondary osteon density. Variation in resultant mechanical properties of the 3D printed composite structures for each bone design was achieved using a combination of material components and reasonable prediction of elastic modulus provided using a Hashin-Shtrikman approach. The ability to 3D print composite structures using high contrast XCT to distinguish between compositional phases in a biological structure promises improved anatomical models as well as next-generation mechano-mimetic implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2761-2767
Number of pages7
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • bone
  • composites
  • mechanics
  • X-ray tomography


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