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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Properties and In Vitro Behavior of Additively Manufactured and Functionally Graded Ti6Al4V Porous Scaffolds

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
2
Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2018, 8(4), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8040200
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Titanium Alloys for Biomedical Implants and Devices)
Functionally graded lattice structures produced by additive manufacturing are promising for bone tissue engineering. Spatial variations in their porosity are reported to vary the stiffness and make it comparable to cortical or trabecular bone. However, the interplay between the mechanical properties and biological response of functionally graded lattices is less clear. Here we show that by designing continuous gradient structures and studying their mechanical and biological properties simultaneously, orthopedic implant design can be improved and guidelines can be established. Our continuous gradient structures were generated by gradually changing the strut diameter of a body centered cubic (BCC) unit cell. This approach enables a smooth transition between unit cell layers and minimizes the effect of stress discontinuity within the scaffold. Scaffolds were fabricated using selective laser melting (SLM) and underwent mechanical and in vitro biological testing. Our results indicate that optimal gradient structures should possess small pores in their core (~900 µm) to increase their mechanical strength whilst large pores (~1100 µm) should be utilized in their outer surface to enhance cell penetration and proliferation. We suggest this approach could be widely used in the design of orthopedic implants to maximize both the mechanical and biological properties of the implant. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective laser melting; gradient structure; porous biomaterial; Ti6Al4V; mechanical properties; osteoblast selective laser melting; gradient structure; porous biomaterial; Ti6Al4V; mechanical properties; osteoblast
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MDPI and ACS Style

Onal, E.; Frith, J.E.; Jurg, M.; Wu, X.; Molotnikov, A. Mechanical Properties and In Vitro Behavior of Additively Manufactured and Functionally Graded Ti6Al4V Porous Scaffolds. Metals 2018, 8, 200.

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