A systematic investigation of tissue engineering scaffolds prepared by salt leaching of a photopolymerized dimethacrylate was performed to determine how the scaffold structure (porosity, pore size, etc.) can be controlled and also to determine how the scaffold structure and the mechanical properties are related. Two series of scaffolds were prepared with (1) the same polymer-to-salt ratio but different salt sizes (ranging from average size of 100 to 390 μm) and (2) the same salt size but different polymer-to-salt ratios (ranging from salt mass of 70 to 90%). These scaffolds were examined to determine how the fabrication parameters affected the scaffold morphometric parameters and corresponding mechanical properties. Combined techniques of X-ray microcomputed tomography (μCT), mercury porosimetry, and gravimetric analysis were used to determine the scaffold parameters, such as porosity, pore size, and strut thickness and their size distributions, and pore interconnectivity. Scaffolds with porosities ranging from 57% to 92% (by volume) with interconnected structures could be fabricated using the current technique. The porosity and strut thickness were subsequently related to the mechanical response of the scaffolds, both of which contribute to the compression modulus of the scaffold. The current study shows that the structure and properties of e scaffold could be tailored by the size and the amount of porogen used in the fabrication of the scaffold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry