Hey guys, wondering if you could give me the benefit of your knowledge….
I am looking to investigate cell seeding and want to initially test a range of bone scaffolds. The idea of using reprap for some of these is very exciting, but I understand that there are some limitations.
I would like to mimic the structure of trabecular bone as much as possible (structural properties less important), but I am given to understand from other posts and papers that it may be an issue to get the required trabecular strut thickness?
Also, it is possible to produce a reticulated structure, somewhat similar to an open cell foam? I am fairly flexible on the materials to be used, but am immersion testing
... some years ago i was involved in developing a silk-screen-printing process for catalytic converters thatz should represent the foamy structure of bones.
They used screens with 50microns wide holes and 20microns spacing and 50 microns thickness, coated them with photoresist, etched the structure of typical bone-meshes and printed a paste made with ceramic dust and some high-temp additives (maybe partially waterglass).
They printed a single layer, let the paste settle some ten seconds, so it went stiff enough to print on it again - moved the screen up, to release from the printed material - displaced some ten microns, and printed new layers on top of the previous.
The result was a big block of foamy ceramics with capilaries through the block, that represented the open holes - but the vertical surfaces were 'chaotic' through the displacement of the screen after every layer.
I think this should be the perfect fabrication methode for bone-like structures from calcite or other bio-degradable dust in an organic binder as paste ...