The status and challenges of replicating the mechanical properties of connective tissues using additive manufacturing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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  • University of Melbourne


The ability to fabricate complex structures via precise and heterogeneous deposition of biomaterials makes additive manufacturing (AM) a leading technology in the creation of implants and tissue engineered scaffolds. Connective tissues (CTs) remain attractive targets for
manufacturing due to their “simple” tissue compositions that, in theory, are replicable through choice of biomaterial(s) and implant microarchitecture. Nevertheless, characterisation of the mechanical and biological functions of 3D printed constructs with respect to their host tissues is often limited and remains a restriction towards their translation into clinical practice. This
review aims to provide an update on the current status of AM to mimic the mechanical properties of CTs, with focus on arterial tissue, articular cartilage and bone, from the perspective of printing platforms, biomaterial properties, and topological design. Furthermore,
the grand challenges associated with the AM of CT replacements and their subsequent regulatory requirements are discussed to aid further development of reliable and effective implants.


Original languageEnglish
Article number103544
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Early online date18 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • 3D Printing, Biomaterial Characterisation, Design, Tissue Engineering Scaffolds, Implants, Bioprinting