Design Optimization of Scaffold Microstructures Using Wall Shear Stress Criterion Towards Regulated Flow-Induced Erosion

Yuhang Chen, Michiel Schellekens, Shiwei Zhou, Joseph Cadman, Wei Li, Richard Appleyard, Qing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue scaffolds aim to provide a cell-friendly biomechanical environment for facilitating cell growth. Existing studies have shown significant demands for generating a certain level of wall shear stress (WSS) on scaffold microstructural surfaces for promoting cellular response and attachment efficacy. Recently, its role in shear-induced erosion of polymer scaffold has also drawn increasing attention. This paper proposes a bi-directional evolutionary structural optimization (BESO) approach for design of scaffold microstructure in terms of the WSS uniformity criterion, by downgrading highly-stressed solid elements into fluidic elements and/or upgrading lowly-stressed fluidic elements into solid elements. In addition to this, a computational model is presented to simulate shear-induced erosion process. The effective stiffness and permeability of initial and optimized scaffold microstructures are characterized by the finite element based homogenization technique to quantify the variations of mechanical properties of scaffold during erosion. The illustrative examples show that a uniform WSS is achieved within the optimized scaffold microstructures, and their architectural and biomechanical features are maintained for a longer lifetime during shear-induced erosion process. This study provides a mathematical means to the design optimization of cellular biomaterials in terms of the WSS criterion towards controllable shear-induced erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)081008-1-081008-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2011


  • wall shear stress
  • topology optimization
  • scaffold
  • biofluid
  • biodegradation
  • evolutionary structural optimization
  • topology optomization
  • computational design
  • bone regeneration
  • stokes-flow
  • fluid-flow
  • cells
  • environment
  • bioreactors
  • composites


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