The development of bone replacement materials for large and load-bearing defects and their translation to the clinic will require extensive characterization of the mechanical properties of the scaffold/bone composites after implantation. Numerous of challenges are associated with such characterization of these types of composite. In particular, the need for large animal models, the associated cost, and the removal of the scaffolds from host bone for mechanical testing are some of the more difficult challenges to overcome. The ability to accurately predict the mechanical properties of scaffold/bone composites will lead to significant advances in the area of bone tissue engineering. Properties for periodic materials have been accurately modeled modeled using representative volume elements (RVE) [1]. The hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds in this study have a periodic lattice structure, making the use of an RVE appropriate for modeling effective properties. However, the choice of an appropriate RVE and geometry to represent the bone in the composite is less clear.

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