Inductive, scaffold-based, regenerative medicine approach to reconstruction of the temporomandibular joint disk

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Nov;70(11):2656-68. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.12.030. Epub 2012 Feb 25.


Purpose: A device composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) was investigated as an inductive template in vivo for reconstruction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disk after discectomy.

Materials and methods: A scaffold material composed of porcine-derived ECM was configured to mimic the shape and size of the TMJ. This device was implanted in a canine model of bilateral TMJ discectomy. After discectomy, 1 side was repaired with an ECM scaffold material and the contralateral side was left empty as a control. At 6 months after implantation, the joint space was opened, the joints were evaluated for signs of gross pathologic degenerative changes, and newly formed tissue was excised for histologic, biochemical, and biomechanical analysis.

Results: The results showed that implantation of an initially acellular material supported the formation of site-appropriate, functional host tissue that resembled that of the native TMJ disk. Furthermore, this prevented gross degenerative changes in the temporal fossa and mandibular condyle. No tissue formation and mild to severe gross pathologic changes were observed in the contralateral controls.

Conclusions: These results suggest that an ECM-based bioscaffold could represent an off-the-shelf solution for TMJ disk replacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cartilage, Articular / anatomy & histology
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Dogs
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Freeze Drying
  • Glycosaminoglycans / analysis
  • Hydroxyproline / analysis
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Regeneration*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc* / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc* / surgery
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Urinary Bladder


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Collagen
  • Hydroxyproline