The use of processed bone allograft to repair large osseous defects of the skull has been limited, given that it lacks the osteogenic cellularity and intrinsic vascular supply which are essential elements for successful graft healing and, at the same time, the areas to be targeted through tissue-engineering applications. In this study, we investigated the effect of predifferentiated rat adipose tissue-derived osteoblastic cells (OBs) and endothelial cells (ECs) on calvarial bone allograft healing and vascularization using an orthotopic critical-sized calvarial defect model. For this purpose, thirty-seven 8mm critical calvarial defects in Lewis rats were treated with bone allografts seeded with no cells, undifferentiated adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASC), OBs, ECs, and OBs and ECs simultaneously. After 8 weeks, the bone volume and mineral density were calculated using microcomputed tomography and the microvessel formation using immunohistochemical staining and imaging software. The amount of bone within the 8m defect was significantly higher for the allografts treated with ECs compared with the allografts treated with OBs (p=0.05) and simultaneously with the two cell lineages (p=0.02). There were no significant differences in bone formation between the latter two groups and the control groups (allografts treated with no cells and undifferentiated ASC). There were no significant differences in bone mineral density among the groups. The amount of microvessels was significantly higher in the group treated with ECs relative to all groups (p=<0.05). Our results show that the implantation of ASC-derived ECs improves the vascularization of calvarial bone allografts at 8 weeks after treatment. This cell-based vascularization strategy can be used to improve the paucity of perfusion in allogenic bone implants. However, in this study, the treatment of allografts with OBs alone or in combination with ECs did not support bone formation or vascularization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering