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Methods. 2009 Feb;47(2):122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Tissue engineered hybrid tooth-bone constructs.

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Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Tufts University, 136 Harrison Avenue, Room M824, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Proper rehabilitation of craniofacial defects is challenging because of the complexity of the anatomy and the component tissue types. The ability to simultaneously coordinate the regeneration of multiple tissues would make reconstruction more efficient and might reduce morbidity and improve outcomes. The craniofacial complex is unique because of the presence of teeth, in addition to skin, bone, cartilage, muscle, vascular, and neural tissues since teeth naturally grow in coordination with the craniofacial skeleton, our group developed an autologous, tooth-bone hybrid model to facilitate repair of mandibular defects in the Yucatan minipig. The hybrid tooth-bone construct was prepared by combining tooth bud cell-seeded scaffolds with autologous iliac crest bone marrow derived stem cell-seeded scaffolds, which were transplanted back into surgically created mandibular defects in the same minipig. The constructs were harvested after 12 and 20 weeks of growth. The resulting bone/tooth constructs were evaluated by X-ray, ultra high-resolution volume computed tomography (VCT), histological, immunohistochemical analyses, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The observed formation of small tooth-like structures consisting of organized dentin, enamel, pulp, cementum, periodontal ligament, and surrounded by regenerated alveolar bone, suggests the feasibility for regeneration of teeth and associated alveolar bone, in a single procedure. This model provides an accessible method for future clinical applications in humans.

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