Characterization and three-dimensional reconstruction of synthetic bone model foams

S. Gómez, M. D. Vlad, J. López, M. Navarro, E. Fernández

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Sawbones© open-cell foams with different porosity grades are being used as synthetic bone-like models for in vitro mechanical and infiltration experiments. However, a comprehensive characterization of these foams is not available and there is a lack of reliable information about them. For this reason two of these foams (Refs. 1522-505 and -507) have been characterized at the micro architectural level by scanning electron microscopy, computed tomography and image data analysis. BoneJ open software and ImageJ open software were used to obtain the characteristic histomorphometric parameters and the three dimensional virtual models of the foams. The results showed that both foams, while having different macro porosities, appeared undistinguishable at the micro scale. Moreover, the micro structural features resembled those of osteoporotic rather than healthy trabecular bone. It is concluded that Sawbones© foams behave reasonably as synthetic bone-like models. Consequently, their use is recommended for in vitro comparison purposes of both mechanical and infiltration testing performed in real vertebra. Finally, the virtual models obtained, which are available under request, can favour comparisons between future self-similar in vitro experiments and computer simulations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3329-3335
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Microcomputed tomography
  • Open cell polyurethane foam
  • Trabecular bone
  • Vertebroplasty


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