Started: June 2015
Craniomaxillofacial implants are difficult to develop because of the nature of the site and the shape of the bone defects. There are various strategies in developing cranial implants but this study looks at the possibility of producing extracellular matrix (ECM) on the surface of a 3D printed porous plastic scaffold and then implanting it into the patient. The extracellular matrix project aims to produce sufficient ECM on the surface of polypropylene-fumarate resorbable plastic scaffolds so that eventually patients can take them up and begin repairing the cranial defect. The 3D printed scaffolds are coated with cultured human mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow using FGF, PDGF, and EGF. Once fully coated, various bone morphogenic proteins are added to induce the production of ECM while simultaneously preventing the progression to end-stage bone. The ultimate goal is to have 25-50 µm of ECM over the entire surface of a 3D implant that will eventually be implanted into a canine model.