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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Jul;37(7):651-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Healing of onlay mandibular bone grafts covered with collagen membrane or bovine bone substitutes: a microscopical and immunohistochemical study in the sheep.

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Department of Craniomaxillofacial and Plastic Surgery, University of Cologne, Germany.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of collagen membrane and Bio-Oss coverage in healing of an onlay graft to the mandible. Twelve adult sheep each received an onlay bone graft (experiment 1), bone graft+Bio-Gide (experiment 2), and bone graft+Bio-Oss/Bio-Gide (experiment 3) on the lateral surface of the mandible. The animals were euthanized at 4, 8, 12 or 16 weeks after surgery, and findings were analysed by routine microscopy and immunohistochemistry for proliferation (Ki67) and apoptotic (Caspase-3) markers. Grafts were fully incorporated in all specimens. Pronounced resorption was observed in experiment 1. Minimal loss of graft volume was seen in experiment 2 specimens without membrane displacement. A remarkable increase in the augmented region of the mandible was observed in experiment 3. A high number of osteoclasts were expressed within the grafts during the early healing period, and thereafter declined markedly. Osteoblasts within the grafts expressed a moderate level of Ki67 at 8 weeks, which thereafter declined markedly. The strongest expression of Caspase-3 on the bone surface was observed after 16 weeks. In conclusion, the effect of collagen membrane coverage on bone graft volume maintenance was dependent on membrane stability during healing. An autogenous bone graft covered with Bio-Oss particles resulted in a remarkable increase in augmented lateral surface of the mandible. The late stage of bone graft healing was associated with a high apoptotic induction pathway of osteoblasts lining the surfaces of the new bone, demonstrated by strong positive Caspase-3 immunoreactivity.

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