Geometric modeling of space optimal unit cell based tissue engineering scaffolds

Srinivasan Rajagopalan, Lichun Lu, Michael J. Yaszemski, M. D.Richard Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Tissue engineering involves regenerating damaged or malfunctioning organs using cells, biomolecules, and synthetic or natural scaffolds. Based on their intended roles, scaffolds can be injected as space-fillers or be preformed and implanted to provide mechanical support. Preformed scaffolds are biomimetic "trellis-like" structures which, on implantation and integration, act as tissue/organ surrogates. Customized, computer controlled, and reproducible preformed scaffolds can be fabricated using Computer Aided Design (CAD) techniques and rapid prototyping devices. A curved, monolithic construct with minimal surface area constitutes an efficient substrate geometry that promotes cell attachment, migration and proliferation. However, current CAD approaches do not provide such a biomorphic construct. We address this critical issue by presenting one of the very first physical realizations of minimal surfaces towards the construction of efficient unit-cell based tissue engineering scaffolds. Mask programmability, and optimal packing density of triply periodic minimal surfaces are used to construct the optimal pore geometry. Budgeted polygonization, and progressive minimal surface refinement facilitate the machinability of these surfaces. The efficient stress distributions, as deduced from the Finite Element simulations, favor the use of these scaffolds for orthopedic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
Pages (from-to)636-647
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue numberII
StatePublished - Aug 16 2005
EventMedical Imaging 2005 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2005Feb 15 2005


  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Minimal Surfaces
  • Scaffolds
  • Solid Free Form Fabrication (SFF)
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Triply Periodic Minimal Surface (TPMS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Geometric modeling of space optimal unit cell based tissue engineering scaffolds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this