Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (Biofabrication)


Intelligent Polymer Research Institute


In this study, the usage of 3D printed polycaprolactone (PCL) constructed supports with nonuniform internal structure and varied mechanical properties was applied to cartilage tissue engineering (CTE) operations. The fabricated structure can be utilized as structural support for engineering functional tissue grafts of clinically relevant size, such as auricular tissue. The design of auricular scaffolds using Computed tomography (CT scan) images with computer-aided design (CAD) was performed. The feasibility of using 3-dimensional (3D) printing methods for fabrication of such structures was investigated to mimic the mechanical characteristics of human auricular cartilage. A series of mechanical tests were performed to calculate the modulus of elasticity of printed structures. A range of tensile moduli for the uniform internal structures of between 4 – 13 MPa, which is close to human articular tissue, was obtained. Moreover, a three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted for evaluating a complete stress analysis of an ear structure. The deformation responses of the 3D simulation mimicked the compression behaviour of 3D printed ear structure.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.