Bovine bone matrix/poly(l-lactic-co-ε-caprolactone)/gelatin hybrid scaffold (SmartBone®) for maxillary sinus augmentation: A histologic study on bone regeneration

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The ideal scaffold for bone regeneration is required to be highly porous, non-immunogenic, biostable until the new tissue formation, bioresorbable and osteoconductive. This study aimed at investigating the process of new bone formation in patients treated with granular SmartBone® for sinus augmentation, providing an extensive histologic analysis. Five biopsies were collected at 4–9 months post SmartBone® implantation and processed for histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Histomorphometric analysis was performed. Bone-particle conductivity index (BPCi) was used to assess SmartBone® osteoconductivity.

At 4 months, SmartBone® (12%) and new bone (43.9%) were both present and surrounded by vascularized connective tissue (37.2%). New bone was grown on SmartBone® (BPCi = 0.22). At 6 months, SmartBone® was almost completely resorbed (0.5%) and new bone was massively present (80.8%). At 7 and 9 months, new bone accounted for a large volume fraction (79.3% and 67.4%, respectively) and SmartBone® was resorbed (0.5% and 0%, respectively). Well-oriented lamellae and bone scars, typical of mature bone, were observed. In all the biopsies, bone matrix biomolecules and active osteoblasts were visible. The absence of inflammatory cells confirmed SmartBone® biocompatibility and non-immunogenicity. These data indicate that SmartBone® is osteoconductive, promotes fast bone regeneration, leading to mature bone formation in about 7 months.

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