Bone Graft Prefabrication Following the In Vivo Bioreactor Principle
Bone tissue engineering shows good prospects for mandibular reconstruction. In recent studies, prefabricated tissue-engineered bone (PTEB) by recombinant human bone morphogenetic proteins (rhBMPs) applied in vivo has found to be an effective alternative for autologous bone grafts. However, the optimal time to transfer PTEB for mandibular reconstruction is still not elucidated. Thus, here in an animal experiment of rhesus monkey, the suitable transferring time for PTEB to reconstruct mandibular defects was evaluated by 99mTc-MDP SPECT/CT, and its value in monitoring orthotopic rhBMP-2 implants for mandibular reconstruction was also evaluated. The result of SPECT/CT showed higher 99mTc-MDP uptake, indicating osteoinductivity, in rhBMP-2 incorporated demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft (DFDBA) and coralline hydroxyapatite (CHA) implants than those without BMP stimulation. 99mTc-MDP uptake of rhBMP-2 implant peaked at 8 weeks following implantation while CT showed the density of these implants increased after 13 weeks' prefabrication. Histology confirmed that mandibular defects were repaired successfully with PTEB or orthotopically rhBMP-2 incorporated CHA implants, in accordance with SPECT/CT findings. Collectively, data shows 99mTc-MDP SPECT/CT is a sensitive and noninvasive tool to monitor osteoinductivity and bone regeneration of PTEB and orthotopic implants. The PTEB achieved peak osteoinductivity and bone density at 8 to 13 weeks following ectopic implantation, which would serve as a recommendable time frame for its transfer to mandibular reconstruction.