Tissue-engineered bone constructed in a bioreactor for repairing critical-sized bone defects in sheep


Deqiang Li, Ming Li, Peilai Liu, Yuankai Zhang, Jianxi Lu, Jianmin Li


Purpose Repair of bone defects, particularly critical-sized bone defects, is a considerable challenge in orthopaedics. Tissue-engineered bones provide an effective approach. However, previous studies mainly focused on the repair of bone defects in small animals. For better clinical application, repairing critical-sized bone defects in large animals must be studied. This study investigated the effect of a tissue-engineered bone for repairing critical-sized bone defect in sheep.

Methods A tissue-engineered bone was constructed by culturing bone marrow mesenchymal-stem-cell-derived osteoblast cells seeded in a porous β-tricalcium phosphate ceramic (β-TCP) scaffold in a perfusion bioreactor. A critical-sized bone defect in sheep was repaired with the tissue-engineered bone. At the eighth and 16th week after the implantation of the tissue-engineered bone, X-ray examination and histological analysis were performed to evaluate the defect. The bone defect with only the β-TCP scaffold served as the control.

Result X-ray showed that the bone defect was successfully repaired 16 weeks after implantation of the tissue-engineered bone; histological sections showed that a sufficient volume of new bones formed in β-TCP 16 weeks after implantation. Eight and 16 weeks after implantation, the volume of new bones that formed in the tissue-engineered bone group was more than that in the β-TCP scaffold group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion Tissue-engineered bone improved osteogenesis in vivo and enhanced the ability to repair critical-sized bone defects in large animals.

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