Biomimetic 3D Printing of Hierarchical and Interconnected Porous Hydroxyapatite Structures with High Mechanical Strength for Bone Cell Culture

Xiaolei Song, Halil Tetik, Thitikan Jirakittsonthon, Pedram Parandoush, Guang Yang, Donghee Lee, Sangjin Ryu, Shuting Lei, Mark L. Weiss, Dong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Human bone demonstrates superior mechanical properties due to its sophisticated hierarchical architecture spanning from the nano/microscopic level to the macroscopic. Bone grafts are in high demand due to the rising number of surgeries because of increasing incidence of orthopedic disorders, non-union fractures, and injuries in the geriatric population. The bone scaffolds need to provide porous matrix with interconnected porosity for tissue growth as well as sufficient strength to withstand physiological loads, and be compatible with physiological remodeling by osteoclasts/osteoblasts. The-state-of-art additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for bone tissue engineering enable the manipulation of gross geometries, for example, they rely on the gaps between printed materials to create interconnected pores in 3D scaffolds. Herein, the authors firstly print hierarchical and porous hydroxyapatite (HAP) structures with interconnected pores to mimic human bones from microscopic (below 10 µm) to macroscopic (submillimeter to millimeter level) by combining freeze casting and extrusion-based 3D printing. The compression test of 3D printed scaffold demonstrates superior compressive stress (22 MPa) and strain (4.4%). The human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) tests demonstrate the biocompatibility of printed scaffold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800678
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • 3D printing bone structure
  • biomimetic
  • bone cell culture
  • hierarchical and interconnected pores
  • high strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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