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Tissue Eng. 2003 Jun;9(3):495-504.

Poly(propylene fumarate) and poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) as scaffold materials for solid and foam-coated composite tissue-engineered constructs for cranial reconstruction.

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Department of Neurological Surgery and Research Institute, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Department of Neurological Surgery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


This pilot study investigates the osseointegration of four types of critical-size (1.5-cm diameter) rabbit cranial defect (n = 35) bone graft scaffolds. The first is a solid poly(propylene fumarate)/beta-tricalcium phosphate(PPF/beta-TCP) disk; the three remaining constructs contain a PPF/beta-TCP core coated with a 1-mm resorptive porous foam layer of PPF or PLGA [poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid)], and bone marrow. Animals were killed at 6, 12, and 20 weeks. There was no evidence of a foreign body inflammatory response at any time during the study. Histomorphometric analyses of new bone formation sorted lineal and areal measures of new bone into three cranial layers (i.e., external, middle, and internal). Statistical analyses revealed significantly more bone in the PLGA foam-coated constructs than in the PPF foam-coated constructs (p < 0.03). No implant fixation was used; there is no strength at time 0. Twenty percent of all explants were tested for incorporation strength with a one-point "push-in" test, and failure ranged from 8.3 to 34.7 lb. The results of this study support the use of PPF as a biocompatible material that provides both a structural and osteogenic substrate for the repair of cranial defects.

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