Iron-labeled adipose stem cells and neovascularization in rabbit calvarial critical-sized defects

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of iron-labeled adipose stem cells at the 2-week time point and vascular changes at the 2-week and 6-week time points using two different types of scaffolds.

Study Design.

This study included 22 White New Zealand adult male rabbits. In six rabbits, full-thickness calvarial critical-sized defects were filled with autogenous adipose stem cells labeled with iron oxide seeded onto two scaffolds, namely, solid bioactive glass (BAG) or porous tricalcium phosphate granules (TCP) used on reciprocal sides of the skull. Eleven rabbits were implanted with adipose stem cell–seeded scaffolds without iron labeling for analysis of vascular changes. Five defects were left empty as negative control defects. The specimens were analyzed histologically at the 2-week and 6-week time points.


The TCP group showed significantly more vascularity compared with the BAG group. A greater number of labeled stem cells were identified in the TCP group compared with the BAG group, but the difference was not statistically significant.


This study revealed the differences in stem cell distribution and revascularization of the calvarial defect, which may be biomaterial dependent.

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