Repair of segmental mandibular bone defects in sheep using bone marrow stromal cells and autologous serum scaffold: a pilot study

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The aim of this study was to evaluate effective bone regeneration using an autologous serum scaffold (alone or seeded with autologous bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells, BM-MSCs), when implanted in a 30 mm length segmental mandibular defect in sheep.

Materials and Methods:

The bone defect was filled either with serum scaffold alone (control group; n = 5) or combined with BM-MSCs (experimental group; n = 10). Bone regeneration was determined at 12 (T12; 2 control sheep and 4 experimental sheep) and 32 weeks (T32; 3 control and 6 experimental sheep), as measured by computed and microcomputed tomography and histological examination.


Two sheep of the Experimental group died after surgery. While complete bone union in the control group was only observed at T32, it was observed both at T12 (1/4 sheep) and T32 (3/4 sheep) in the experimental group. When properties/characteristics of new bone where compared, a better bone quality, similar to native bone, was observed in the scaffold combined with BM-MSCs.


Based on these results, we conclude that the serum scaffold can promote efficient repair of large bone defects, but the combination with BM-MSCs accelerates this process, increasing significantly the amount and quality of bone formed.

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