Computed tomography-based tissue-engineered scaffolds in craniomaxillofacial surgery

Int J Med Robot. 2007 Sep;3(3):207-16. doi: 10.1002/rcs.143.


Introduction: Tissue engineering provides an alternative modality allowing for decreased morbidity of donor site grafting and decreased rejection of less compatible alloplastic tissues.

Methods: Using image-based design and computer software, a precisely sized and shaped scaffold for osseous tissue regeneration can be created via selective laser sintering. Polycaprolactone has been used to create a condylar ramus unit (CRU) scaffold for application in temporomandibular joint reconstruction in a Yucatan minipig animal model. Following sacrifice, micro-computed tomography and histology was used to demonstrate the efficacy of this particular scaffold design.

Results: A proof-of-concept surgery has demonstrated cartilaginous tissue regeneration along the articulating surface with exuberant osseous tissue formation. Bone volumes and tissue mineral density at both the 1 and 3 month time points demonstrated significant new bone growth interior and exterior to the scaffold.

Conclusion: Computationally designed scaffolds can support masticatory function in a large animal model as well as both osseous and cartilage regeneration. Our group is continuing to evaluate multiple implant designs in both young and mature Yucatan minipig animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cartilage / growth & development
  • Cartilage / transplantation*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Skull / surgery*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*