CAD based design sensitivity analysis and shape optimization of scaffolds for bio-root regeneration in swine.

PMID 25913251


Tooth root supports dental crown and bears occlusal force. While proper root shape and size render the force being evenly delivered and dispersed into jawbone. Yet it remains unclear what shape and size of a biological tooth root (bio-root), which is mostly determined by the scaffold geometric design, is suitable for stress distributing and mastication performing. Therefore, this study hypothesized scaffold fabricated in proper shape and size is better for regeneration of tooth root with approving biomechanical functional features. In this study, we optimized shape and size of scaffolds for bio-root regeneration using computer aided design (CAD) modeling and finite element analysis (FEA). Statical structural analysis showed the total deformation (TD) and equivalent von-mises stress (EQV) of the restored tooth model mainly concentrated on the scaffold and the post, in accordance with the condition in a natural post restored tooth. Design sensitivity analysis showed increasing the height and upper diameter of the scaffold can tremendously reduce the TD and EQV of the model, while increasing the bottom diameter of scaffold can, to some extent, reduce the EQV in post. However, increase on post height had little influence on the whole model, only slightly increased the native EQV stress in post. Through response surface based optimization, we successfully screened out the optimal shape of the scaffold used in tissue engineering of tooth root. The optimal scaffold adopted a slightly tapered shape with the upper diameter of 4.9 mm, bottom diameter of 3.4 mm; the length of the optimized scaffold shape was 9.4 mm. While the analysis also suggested a height of about 9 mm for a metal post with a diameter of 1.4 mm suitable for crown restoration in bio-root regeneration. In order to validate the physiological function of the shape optimized scaffold in vivo, we transplanted the shape optimized treated dentin matrix (TDM) scaffold, seeding with dental stem cells, into alveolar bone of swine and further installed porcelain crown. Results showed that tooth root has not only been successfully regenerated histologically but also performed masticatory function and maintained stable for three months after crown restoration. Our results suggested that TDM scaffold with 9.4 mm in length and 4.9 mm/3.4 mm in upper/bottom diameter is a suitable biological scaffold for tooth root regeneration. These results also provided a recommendable design protocol for fabricating other scaffolds in tooth root reconstruction.