Large mandibular defects caused by trauma, infection or resection of a tumour are still a major problem for plastic and maxillofacial surgeons. The modern concept of tissue engineering combines the osteoinductive effects of osteogenic cells with a suitable scaffold structure to promote differentiation of osteoblasts and optimal matrix production. Critical size mandibular bone defects were therefore made to investigate the osteogenic potential of periosteal cells and a bioabsorbable polymer fleece (Ethisorb 510) in minipigs. Periosteal cells were isolated from four minipigs, expanded in vitro and seeded with fibrin glue into Ethisorb 510 fleeces. Tissue constructs were used to repair critical size mandibular defects and compared with two minipigs with untreated bone defects. Bone healing was evaluated after 90 and 180 days by radiographs and a histological scoring system. The radiographs showed increased radiodensity of defects filled with the cell-fibrin-fleece-constructs compared with the untreated control group after 90 and 180 days in vivo. The defects repaired by the cell-fibrin-scaffolds (180 days in vivo) obtained the highest histological mean score 2.9 (range 2-3), while defects filled by cell-fibrin-scaffolds (90 days in vivo) achieved a mean score of 2.1 (range 2-3). In contrast, the control group (n = 2) scored 1 and 2. The results show that a combination of periosteal cells and polymer fleeces may be a promising approach for clinical mandibular augmentation.