Fibroin scaffold repairs critical-size bone defects in vivo supported by human amniotic fluid and dental pulp stem cells

Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 May;18(9-10):1006-13. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0542. Epub 2012 Jan 26.


The main aim of this study was the comparative evaluation of fibroin scaffolds combined with human stem cells, such as dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) and amniotic fluid stem cells (hAFSCs), used to repair critical-size cranial bone defects in immunocompromised rats. Two symmetric full-thickness cranial defects on each parietal region of rats have been replenished with silk fibroin scaffolds with or without preseeded stem cells addressed toward osteogenic lineage in vitro. Animals were euthanized after 4 weeks postoperatively and cranial tissue samples were taken for histological analysis. The presence of human cells in the new-formed bone was confirmed by confocal analysis with an antibody directed to a human mitochondrial protein. Fibroin scaffolds induced mature bone formation and defect correction, with higher bone amount produced by hAFSC-seeded scaffolds. Our findings demonstrated the strong potential of stem cells/fibroin bioengineered constructs for correcting large cranial defects in animal model and is likely a promising approach for the reconstruction of human large skeletal defects in craniofacial surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / cytology*
  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases / therapy*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dental Pulp / cytology*
  • Fibroins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Fibroins