26758 Modelling vascularization in bone tissue engineering scaffolds
Begeleider(s): Laurens Parmentier

Richtingen: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, International Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Vascularised bone tissue engineering aims to stimulate regeneration in critical bone defects. The establishment of vascularisation however is one of the current challenges related to the design of an osteoinductive scaffold aiming to provide the incorporated cells with nutrients and to enable the removal of waste. Engineered tissues without a proper vasculature can only have a thickness of 150 – 200 μm since larger structures might result in a lack of diffusion of nutrients [1]. This project aims to develop a patient-specific biomimetic scaffold mimicking the bone tissue in which a proper vasculature is induced through extrusion-based 3D-printing.

[1] Nguyen, L.H., et al., Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews, 2012. 18(5): p. 363-382.


First, the bone tissue is mimicked through patient-specific (core-shell) 3D-printing of combinations of polyesters, modified gelatins and ceramic phases.

Figure 1: The design of osteogenic scaffolds

Afterwards, both the mechanical properties and the permeability of the produced scaffolds are quantified experimentally. To this end, the experimental values are compared to computational analyses.  An example of the workflow for permeability testing is given [2].

Figure 2: 3D-printing of scaffolds based on models made in pyFormex whereafter these are tested in an experimental set-up validated against Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations

[2] Steuperaert, M., et al., 4th International conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering, 2015.