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Biomaterials. 2006 Jun;27(17):3163-7. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Man as living bioreactor: fate of an exogenously prepared customized tissue-engineered mandible.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Kiel, Arnold-Heller-Str. 16, 24105 Kiel, Germany.


In 2004, we reported a novel method of repairing a human mandible by in vivo tissue engineering. The patient served as his own bioreactor as the exogenously prepared customized mandible replacement was grown inside his latissimus dorsi muscle prior to transplantation to repair the existing defect. Our technique was developed through extensive experience with an animal model. We describe our and the patient's experiences with this procedure. We give details to the benefits and limitations of this technique as it stands and outline issues that should be addressed in future human clinical trials.

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