Adapting the pore size of individual, 3d‐printed cpc scaffolds in maxillofacial surgery

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Three dimensional (3D) printing allows additive manufacturing of patient specific scaffolds with varying pore size and geometry. Such porous scaffolds, made of 3D‐printable bone‐like calcium phosphate cement (CPC), are suitable for bone augmentation due to their benefit for osteogenesis. Their pores allow blood‐, bone‐ and stem cells to migrate, colonize and finally integrate into the adjacent tissue. Furthermore, the pore size affects the scaffold’s stability. Since scaffolds in maxillofacial surgery have to withstand high forces within the jaw, adequate mechanical properties are of high clinical importance. Although many studies have investigated CPC for bone augmentation, the ideal porosity for specific indications has not been defined yet. We investigated 3D printed CPC cubes with increasing pore sizes and different printing orientations regarding cell migration and mechanical properties in comparison to commercially available bone substitutes. Furthermore, by investigating clinical cases, the scaffolds’ designs were adapted to resemble the in vivo conditions as accurately as possible. Our findings suggest that the pore size of CPC scaffolds for bone augmentation in maxillofacial surgery necessarily needs to be adapted to the surgical site. Scaffolds for sites that are not exposed to high forces, such as the sinus floor, should be printed with a pore size of 750 μm to benefit from enhanced cell infiltration. In contrast, for areas exposed to high pressures, such as the lateral mandible, scaffolds should be manufactured with a pore size of 490 μm to guarantee adequate cell migration and in order to withstand the high forces during the chewing process.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2654
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Additive manufacturing, Augmentation, Calcium phosphate cement, Pore size