Bone substitutes are used as alternatives for autologous bone grafts in patients undergoing maxillary sinus floor elevation (MSFE) for dental implant placement. However, bone substitutes lack osteoinductive and angiogenic potential. Addition of adipose stem cells (ASCs) may stimulate osteogenesis and osteoinduction, as well as angiogenesis. We aimed to evaluate the vascularization in relation to bone formation potential of the ASC-containing stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue, seeded on two types of calcium phosphate carriers, within the human MSFE model, in a phase I study. Autologous SVF was obtained from ten patients and seeded on β-tricalcium phosphate (n = 5) or biphasic calcium phosphate carriers (n = 5), and used for MSFE in a one-step surgical procedure. After six months, biopsies were obtained during dental implant placement, and the quantification of the number of blood vessels was performed using histomorphometric analysis and immunohistochemical stainings for blood vessel markers, i.e., CD34 and alpha-smooth muscle actin. Bone percentages seemed to correlate with blood vessel formation and were higher in study versus control biopsies in the cranial area, in particular in β-tricalcium phosphate-treated patients. This study shows the safety, feasibility, and efficiency of the use of ASCs in the human MSFE, and indicates a pro-angiogenic effect of SVF.
Keywords: adipose; adipose stem cells; angiogenesis; bone; bone substitutes; calcium phosphates; clinical translation; clinical trials.