Macaca mulatta is a good model for human mandibular fixation research

R Soc Open Sci. 2022 Nov 16;9(11):220438. doi: 10.1098/rsos.220438. eCollection 2022 Nov.


Biomechanical and clinical studies have yet to converge on the optimal fixation technique for angle fractures, one of the most common and controversial fractures in terms of fixation approach. Prior pre-clinical studies have used a variety of animal models and shown abnormal strain environments exacerbated by less rigid (single-plate) Champy fixation and chewing on the side opposite the fracture (contralateral chewing). However, morphological differences between species warrant further investigation to ensure that these findings are translational. Here we present the first study to use realistically loaded finite-element models to compare the biomechanical behaviour of human and macaque mandibles pre- and post-fracture and fixation. Our results reveal only small differences in deformation and strain regimes between human and macaque mandibles. In the human model, more rigid biplanar fixation better approximated physiologically healthy global bone strains and moments around the mandible, and also resulted in less interfragmentary strain than less rigid Champy fixation. Contralateral chewing exacerbated deviations in strain, moments and interfragmentary strain, especially under Champy fixation. Our pre- and post-fracture fixation findings are congruent with those from macaques, confirming that rhesus macaques are excellent animal models for biomedical research into mandibular fixation. Furthermore, these findings strengthen the case for rigid biplanar fixation over less rigid one-plate fixation in the treatment of isolated mandibular angle fractures.

Keywords: Champy fixation; biplanar fixation; chewing; finite-element model; mandible angle fracture; rhesus macaque.

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6277225