Alveolar cleft repair using autogenous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

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The bone graft for the alveolar cleft has been accepted as one of the essential treatments for cleft lip and palate patients. Recently, tissue engineering has become available as a regenerative treatment for bone defects; however, little has been reported on application of tissue engineering for regeneration of cleft defect tissues. Mesenchymal-derived stem cells were applied to different kinds of bone substitute in an attempt to overcome the drawbacks of bone grafting.

Materials and methods

Eight patients with alveolar cleft were included in this study; the cleft repair was done using bone marrow-derived stem cell loaded on NanoBone scaffold. All patients were followed up clinically and radiographically for 6 months postopertively.


The successful healing left no fistula or oronasal communication. Uneventful wound healing was seen during follow-up. All patients gained closure of the alveolar arch and stabilization of the teeth adjacent to the cleft. The radio-opacity in serial computed tomography slicing the middle level of the alveolar cleft in the grafted region increased gradually over the time.


Tissue-engineered bone from mesenchymal stem cells may provide an acceptable alternative especially in the case of limited autograft availability or donor-site morbidity.

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