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Implant Dent. 2007 Mar;16(1):42-53.

A histomorphogenic analysis of bone grafts augmented with adult stem cells.

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To evaluate the influence of bone marrow aspirate added to xenograft or alloplast graft matrix scaffold to produce bone.


A maximum of 4 cc bone marrow was aspirated from the anterior iliac crest of 5 patients to saturate the matrix scaffold prior to bone graft. Seven graft sites evaluated included sinus lift augmentation, particulate onlay graft of the maxilla via a tunneling procedure, and particulate onlay graft of the maxilla stabilized with titanium mesh. The xenograft scaffold was either PepGen Putty (DENTSPLY Friadent CeraMed, Lakewood, CO) or C-Graft resorbable algae material (Clinician's Preference, Golden, CO). The alloplast scaffold was beta-tricalcium phosphate (either Curasan AG, Kleinostheim, Germany, or Vitoss; Malvern, PA).


Graft sites healed for 4-7 months. Core specimens of graft sites were taken with trephine drills, and submitted for standard histologic and histomorphogenic analysis. The percentage of graft material converted into bone, percentage of vital graft matrix, percentage of unresorbed matrix, and percentage of remaining interstitial tissue were measured. After a 4-month healing of sinus-lift augmentation with C-Graft, the biopsy showed 31% bone that was 100% vital. Unresorbed graft material was 26%, and remaining interstitial material constituted 43%. Using pure phase beta-tricalcium phosphate, a 4-month core biopsy showed 40% bone that was 100% vital. Residual graft was 3% and interstitial material 57%. A sinus grafted with PepGen P-15 (DENTSPLY Friadent CeraMed) was found to be 14% bone, with 100% of that bone vital. The non-bone within the core was 36%. After a 4 1/2-month healing of bilateral sinus grafts using a nonpure phase beta-tricalcium phosphate, the percentage of the biopsy that was bone was 23% on the right side and 16% on the left side. Vital bone was 89% (right side) and 86% (left side). The core taken after 4 months of healing from the anterior maxilla particulate onlay graft with PepGen P-15 showed 32% bone, with 100% found to be vital. Non-bone within the core was 15%, and 53% was interstitial material. After 7 months of healing, a biopsy core from the maxillary ridge augmented with C-Graft was 45% newly formed bone, with 100% of the bone vital. There was no residual graft material present.


Bone regeneration by cell-based strategies depends upon an understanding of the biology and potential of adult stem cells as a method of regenerating bone.


Bone marrow aspirate containing adult stem cells when mixed with bioengineered graft materials provide a scaffold to support the proliferation, differentiation, and maturation of the stem cells, as well as facilitating angiogenesis. This article presents histological evidence that stem cells aspirated from bone marrow and transplanted onto biocompatible scaffolds can successfully regenerate bone. This new standard for bone grafting may emerge as an alternative to autogenous bone grafts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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