BackgroundAccurate knowledge of the fracture of cranial bone can provide insight into the prevention of skull fracture injuries and help aid the design of energy-absorbing head protection systems and safety helmets. When cranial bone needs to be removed or is lost, subsequent reconstruction of the defect is necessary to protect the underlying brain, or correct esthetic deformities, or both. Ideal reconstruction of defected bone is possible utilizing a biocompatible implant with a bone-like design individualized for the specific patient. The purpose of this study is to investigate the anatomical and mechanical characteristics of fresh frozen human parietal bones and determine compliance of polylactic acid-based personalized three-dimensional implants in terms of mechanical properties in order to replace such defective bones.MethodsParietal bone specimens were extracted from 19 fresh frozen cadavers. Morphological parameters of individual bone specimens were measured using Image J software. Three-point bend tests were performed to extract Young's modulus and tensile strength of the specimens from the measured force and displacement data by modeling the bone specimens as curved linear elastic beams. Also, three-point bend tests were performed to polylactic acid-based three-dimensional replicas mimicking geometry of the bone specimens in order to determine whether the material's Young's modulus and tensile strength properties comply with parietal bones.ResultsEntire fresh parietal specimens were observed to be comprised of a three-layered structure: external layers consisting of compact, high-density cortical bone and the central layer consisting of low-density, irregularly porous bone structure. Mean thickness of three-layered structure was 6.251.46mm. Mean Young's modulus and tensile strength of the specimens were 1.401.34GPa and 44.56 +/- 21.94MPa, respectively where no statistically significant differences among genders were detected (p>0.05). Mean Young's modulus and tensile strength of the polylactic acid-based three-dimensional implants mimicking geometry of the bone specimens were 1.8 +/- 0.7GPa and 72.8 +/- 2.5MPa, respectively.ConclusionsPolylactic acid-based three-dimensional implants can be considered as acceptable candidates for temporary replacement of parietal defects in terms of mechanical properties.Level of Evidence: Not ratable.