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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2014 Oct;102(10):3401-8. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35012. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

A specific groove design for individualized healing in a canine partial sternal defect model by a polycaprolactone/hydroxyapatite scaffold coated with bone marrow stromal cells.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital Affliated to Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200001, China.


The reconstruction of sternal defects remains clinically challenging for thoracic surgeons. Here we aimed to explore the individualized reconstruction of partial sternal defects with new biodegradable material in a large animal model. We used the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique to manufacture polycaprolactone/hydroxyapatite (PCL/HA) tissue scaffolds with individualized grooves to repair the sternal defect. The defects were surgically created in a sternocostal joint of eighteen Beagle dogs. The animals were separated into three groups (n = 6): Blank group, PCL/HA group, and PCL/HA/BMSCs group. Radiographic examination, histological, and histomorphometric analyses were performed to evaluate the result. In the blank group, the defect site couldn't maintain its original integrity due to no bone union. In the PCL/HA group and PCL/HA/BMSCs group, it was observed that the scaffolds retained their shapes without significant degradation at 12 weeks. Both groups could observe new bone-union by radiographic and histological examination. And PCL/HA/BMSCs would be more mineralized tissue area at implant sites (p < 0.05). These results reveal that using the FDM technique to manufacture the PCL/HA scaffolds with specific grooves could repair the sternal defect satisfactorily. Furthermore the scaffolds with BMSCs-seeded could enhance the amount of bone ingrowth and seemed to be more promising.


3D scaffold; BMSCs; stem cells; sternal reconstruction; tissue engineering

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