An image-based approach for designing and manufacturing craniofacial scaffolds

Scott J. Hollister, Richard A. Levy, Tien Min Chu, John W. Halloran, Stephen E. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


Bone tissue engineering (BTE), which combines biomaterial scaffolds with biologically active factors, holds tremendous promise for reconstructing craniofacial defects. A significant challenge in craniofacial reconstructive BTE applications is the complex patient-specific geometry that must be reconstructed. In this paper, we present an image-based approach for designing and manufacturing patient-specific craniofacial biomaterial scaffolds directly from CT or MRI data. In this approach, voxel density distribution is used to define scaffold topology. The scaffold design topology is created using image processing techniques. This voxel density distribution is then converted to data that can be used to drive a Solid Free-Form Fabrication machine to either directly build the scaffold or build a mold for the scaffold. Several preliminary applications for craniofacial surgery, including a mandibular condyle scaffold, an orbital floor scaffold, and a general mandibular defect scaffold, are illustrated. Finally, we show applications to in vivo models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Biomaterial scaffolds
  • Craniofacial reconstruction
  • Imaging
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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