Local thickness and anisotropy approaches to characterize pore size distribution of three-dimensional porous networks

Martin Y.M. Chiang, Forrest A. Landis, Xianfeng Wang, Jack R. Smith, Marcus T. Cicerone, Joy Dunkers, Yanfeng Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Two image-analysis approaches for pore size distribution (PSD) of porous media are proposed. The methods are based on the skeleton representation of a porous object. One approach gives the local thickness of the pore object to represent the pore size corresponding to a lower limit of PSD. The other gives the pore size taking into account the anisotropy of pore object and corresponds to an upper limit of PSD. These two approaches can be incorporated into a computer program without computationally intensive and complex mathematical operations. In this study, these two approaches are applied to a two-dimensional (2D) synthetic image and 3D natural images of tissue scaffolds with various porosities and tortuosities. The scaffolds were prepared by removing the water-soluble poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) component of the polycaprolactone (PCL)/PEO blend, leaving a porous PCL scaffold. Extracting quantitative PSD information for materials with an interconnected porous network rather than discrete voids (such as tissue scaffolds) is inevitably subjective without a universally accepted definition of "pore size." Therefore, the proposed lower and upper limits of PSD can come into play when considering mass transfer and scaffold surface area for cell-matrix interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering

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