3D fiber deposition is a technique that allows the development of metallic scaffolds with accurately controlled pore size, porosity and interconnecting pore size, which in turn permits a more precise investigation of the effect of structural properties on the in vivo behavior of biomaterials.
This study analyzed the in vivo performance of titanium alloy scaffolds fabricated using 3D fiber deposition. The titanium alloy scaffolds with different structural properties, such as pore size, porosity and interconnecting pore size were implanted on the decorticated transverse processes of the posterior lumbar spine of 10 goats. Prior to implantation, implant structure and permeability were characterized. To monitor the bone formation over time, fluorochrome markers were administered at 3, 6 and 9 weeks and the animals were sacrificed at 12 weeks after implantation. Bone formation in the scaffolds was investigated by histology and histomorphometry of non-decalcified sections using traditional light- and epifluorescent microscopy. In vivo results showed that increase of porosity and pore size, and thus increase of permeability of titanium alloy implants positively influenced their osteoconductive properties.