Mechanical characterization of glass-ceramic scaffolds at multiple characteristic lengths through nanoindentation

Mohamad Shahgholi, Sara Oliviero, Francesco Baino, Chiara Vitale-Brovarone, Dario Gastaldi, Pasquale Vena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanical behaviour of implantable scaffolds is of relevant interest in all applications which require load-bearing capability. This study aims at establishing a quantitative relationship between the mechanical properties of glass-ceramic scaffolds for bone repair and the nano/micro-scale properties of their constituent materials. A nanoindentation study is carried out spanning different penetration depth on bulk (pore-free) glass-ceramic samples and on the walls of porous scaffolds. Micro-tomographical investigations allow assessing small-scale porosity of the scaffold walls. A simple homogenization model is used to establish the relationship between the elastic modulus of the bulk material and that of the micro-porous walls of the scaffolds. The elastic modulus of scaffold walls was found to be approximately 50% lower than that of the bulk glass-ceramic. The properties estimated experimentally on the walls of the scaffolds are quantitatively consistent with the analytical predictions provided by the homogenization model and the micro-porosity measured through tomographical analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2403-2409
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Glass-ceramic
  • Micro-CT
  • Nanoindentation
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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