Bone growth on Reticulated Vitreous Carbon foam scaffolds and implementation of Cellular Automata modeling as a predictive tool

J. S. Czarnecki, M. Blackmore, S. Jolivet, K. Lafdi, P. A. Tsonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


There is a lack of biomaterials that may be used to repair defects in bone. Reticulated Vitreous Carbon (RVC) foam use for medical applications has not been realized. Heat treatment of materials has been shown to enhance material structure and porosity is critical to tissue integration. Three types of RVC foams, 10 pores per inch (ppi), 45-ppi and 100-ppi), were heat-treated to 1800°C. Samples were subjected to compression tests and long-term human osteoblast growth. A three dimensional Cellular Automata model was developed to simulate osteoblast growth. Results from characterization revealed that the compressive strength of foam increased more than 300% as pore size decreased from 1.25 mm to 0.400 mm. Conversely, heat-treated foams exhibited 90% decrease in compressive strength however they displayed 30% increase in osteoblast growth. Additionally, over 28 days, all foam scaffolds exhibited a strong capacity to maintain growth, collagen production and mineralization. Moreover, mineralization on the surface of foams increased the maximum compressive strength by more than 100% for 10-ppi, 65% for 45-ppi and 75% for 100-ppi foam. Cellular Automata modeling correlated to experimental results. This study revealed that scaffolds supported osteoblast growth and mineralization and offered mechanical tunability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
Early online date29 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

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