A comparative study of oxygen diffusion in tissue engineering scaffolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • T. Fiedler
  • I. V. Belova
  • G. E. Murch
  • J. R. Jones
  • J. A. Roether
  • A. R. Boccaccini

Colleges, School and Institutes


Tissue engineering scaffolds are designed to
support tissue self-healing within physiological environments
by promoting the attachment, growth and differentiation
of relevant cells. Newly formed tissue must be
supplied with sufficient levels of oxygen to prevent necrosis.
Oxygen diffusion is the major transport mechanism
before vascularization is completed and oxygen is predominantly
supplied via blood vessels. The present study
compares different designs for scaffolds in the context of
their oxygen diffusion ability. In all cases, oxygen diffusion
is confined to the scaffold pores that are assumed to be
completely occupied by newly formed tissue. The solid
phase of the scaffolds acts as diffusion barrier that locally
inhibits oxygen diffusion, i.e. no oxygen passes through the
scaffold material. As a result, the oxygen diffusivity is
determined by the scaffold porosity and pore architecture.
Lattice Monte Carlo simulations are performed to compare
the normalized oxygen diffusivities in scaffolds obtained by
the foam replication (FR) method, robocasting and sol–gel
foaming. Scaffolds made by the FR method were found to
have the highest oxygen diffusivity due to their high
porosity and interconnected pores. These structures enable
the best oxygen supply for newly formed tissue among the
scaffold types considered according to the present numerical


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2573-2578
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014


  • Oxygen diffusion, bioactive glass, tissue engineering scaffold, strut thickness, tissue phase