In a collaborative effort, a team led by dr. Antonios Mikos (Rice University, Texas, US) and involving John Jansen en Jeroen van den Beucken, theme Reconstructive and regenerative medicine, has demonstrated in PNAS, the feasibility of an in vivo bioreactor-based strategy to generate vascularized bony tissue and its use for mandibular reconstruction.The full publication in PNAS can be found via this link.
In more detail, the approach involved the simultaneous placement of polymeric chambers filled with autologous bone graft against sheep ribs and a polymeric space maintainer in a mandibular defect. During the 9-week period following this procedure, vascularized bone formed within the polymeric chamber and a soft tissue envelop formed around the space maintainer in the mandibular defect. Then, the generated vascularized bone in the in vivo bioreactor was harvested, the space maintainer removed, and the harvested bone tissue was used for mandibular reconstruction. This approach combining space maintenance in a mandibular defect and vascularized bone generation in an in vivo (3D-printed) bioreactor resulted in satisfactory surgical outcome in 5 of 6 of the mandibular defects in the used large animal model.
Jeroen van den Beucken
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