Faleh Tamimi, Jesus Torres, Khadijeh Al-Abedalla, Enrique Lopez-Cabarcos, Mohammad H. Alkhraisat, David C. Bassett, Uwe Gburece, Jake E. Barralet
Onlay grafts made of monolithic microporous monetite bioresorbable bioceramics have the capacity to conduct bone augmentation. However, there is heterogeneity in the graft behaviour in vivo that seems to correlate with the host anatomy. In this study, we sought to investigate the metabolic activity of the regenerated bone in monolithic monetite onlays by using positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) in rats. This information was used to optimize the design of monetite onlays with different macroporous architecture that were then fabricated using a 3D-printing technique. In vivo, bone augmentation was attempted with these customized onlays in rabbits. PET-CT findings demonstrated that bone metabolism in the calvarial bone showed higher activity in the inferior and lateral areas of the onlays. Histological observations revealed higher bone volume (up to 47%), less heterogeneity and more implant osseointegration (up to 38%) in the augmented bone with the customized monetite onlays. Our results demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to achieve osseointegration of dental implants in bone augmented with 3D-printed synthetic onlays. It was also observed that designing the macropore geometry according to the bone metabolic activity was a key parameter in increasing the volume of bone augmented within monetite onlays.