Biodegradable gelatin/beta-tricalcium phosphate sponges incorporating recombinant human fibroblast growth factor-2 for treatment of recession-type defects: A split-mouth study in dogs

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Background and Objective:

Tissue engineering by using recombinant human (rh) growth factor technology may offer a promising therapeutic approach for treatment of gingival recession. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) has shown the ability to promote periodontal regeneration. Gelatin/beta-tricalcium phosphate (gelatin/β-TCP) sponges have been developed to control the release of growth factors. The present study evaluated the periodontal regenerative efficacy of rhFGF-2 by comparing gelatin/β-TCP sponges incorporated with rhFGF-2 to the scaffolds alone in artificially created recession-type defects in dogs.

Materials and methods:

Critically sized buccal gingival recession defects were surgically created on maxillary canine teeth of five dogs. In each animal, defects were randomized to receive either a gelatin/β-TCP sponge soaked with rhFGF-2 (gelatin/β-TCP/rhFGF-2) or phosphate-buffered saline (gelatin/β-TCP). Eight weeks after surgery, biopsy specimens were obtained and subjected to microcomputed tomography and histological analyses.


Complete root coverage was achieved in both groups. Microcomputed tomography revealed significantly greater new bone volume in the gelatin/β-TCP/rhFGF-2 group. Histologically, both groups achieved periodontal regeneration; however, gelatin/β-TCP/rhFGF-2 sites exhibited more tissue regeneration, characterized by significantly larger amounts of new cementum and new bone. Gelatin/β-TCP sites featured increased long junctional epithelium and connective tissue attachment. In the gelatin/β-TCP/rhFGF-2 sites, new bone exhibited many haversian canals and circumferential lamellae as well as remarkably thick periosteum with blood vascularization and hypercellularity.


Within the limitations of this study, rhFGF-2 in gelatin/β-TCP sponges exhibits an increased potential to support periodontal wound healing/regeneration in canine recession-type defects.

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