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Volume 18 , Issue 2
March/April 2003

Pages 182188

Evaluation of a Porous, Biodegradable Biopolymer Scaffold for Mandibular Reconstruction

Debra J. Trantolo, PhD/Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc/Benjamin M. J. Thompson, BS/Donald L. Wise, PhD/Kai-Uwe Lewandrowski, MD/David D. Hile, PhD

PMID: 12705295

Purpose: Bioresorbable bone graft substitutes could eliminate disadvantages associated with the use of autografts, allografts, and other synthetic materials. The authors investigated the osteoinductive capacity of a bioresorbable bone graft substitute made from the unsaturated polyester poly(propylene glycol-co-fumaric acid) (PPF) for mandibular reconstruction in a rat model. The eventual intention is to use this material either as a stand-alone bone graft substitute or as an extender to autograft harvested from mandibular reconstruction sites. Materials and Methods: The PPF bone graft was crosslinked in the presence of a hydroxyapatite filler and effervescent foaming agents to develop porosity in situ by generating carbon dioxide during the effervescent reaction of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. The latter reagents are responsible for foam formation and expansion, resulting in a polymeric scaffold with pore sizes in the range of 100 to 500 m. Twenty adult Sprague-Dawley rats had 3-mm-diameter cortical defects decorticated on the outer aspect of their left mandibular ramus using a Hall drill. Animals were divided into 2 groups of 10 animals each. Animals in group A were treated with implantation of the PPF-based bone graft substitute. Implants were applied buccally to defects on the left side. In group B animals with similar defects, the drill holes were left to heal unaided. The amount of new bone formation and the presence of an inflammatory infiltrate were evaluated at 7 weeks postoperatively. Results: Histologic analysis of the healing process revealed enhanced in vivo new bone formation with the PPF bone graft substitute. These findings were corroborated by the histomorphometric analysis of new bone formation. Discussion: Results of this study demonstrated biocompatibility of the porous PPF-based scaffold in a mandibular defect. Conclusions: These findings may have applicability to the further development of bone graft substitutes for oral/maxillofacial applications. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2003;18:182188)

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