Biomechanical behavior of PMMA 3D printed biomimetic scaffolds: Effects of physiologically relevant environment

Maryam Tilton, Erik Jacobs, Ryan Overdorff, Maria Astudillo Potes, Lichun Lu, Guha Manogharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Functional cellular structures with controllable mechanical and morphological properties are of great interest for applications including tissue engineering, energy storage, and aerospace. Additive manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D printing, has enabled the potential for fabrication of functional porous scaffolds (i.e., meta-biomaterials) with controlled geometrical, morphological, and mechanical properties. Understanding the biomechanical behavior of 3D printed porous scaffolds under physiologically relevant loading and environmental conditions is crucial in accurately predicting the in vivo performance. This study was aimed to investigate the environmental dependency of the mechanical responses of 3D printed porous scaffolds of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) Class IIa biomaterial that was based on triply periodic minimal surfaces – TPMS (i.e., Primitive and Schoen-IWP). The 3D printed scaffolds (n = 5/study group) were tested under compressive loading in both ambient and fluidic (distilled water with pH = 7.4) environments according to ASTM D1621 standards. Outcomes of this study showed that compressive properties of the developed scaffolds are significantly lower in the fluidic condition than the ambient environment for the same topological and morphological group (p≤0.023). Additionally, compressive properties and flexural stiffness of the studied scaffolds were within the range of trabecular bone's properties, for both topological classes. Relationships between predicted mechanical responses and morphological properties (i.e., porosity) were evaluated for each topological class. Quantitative correlation analysis indicated that mechanical behavior of the developed 3D printed scaffolds can be controlled based on both topology and morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105612
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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