Engineering bone regeneration with bioabsorbable scaffolds with novel microarchitecture

K. Whang, D. R. Elenz, E. K. Nam, D. C. Tsai, C. H. Thomas, G. W. Nuber, F. H. Glorieux, R. Travers, S. M. Sprague, Kevin E. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

366 Scopus citations


Critical-sized defects (CSDs) were introduced into rat calvaria to test the hypothesis that absorption of surrounding blood, marrow, and fluid from the osseous wound into a bioabsorbable polymer matrix with unique microarchitecture can induce bone formation via hematoma stabilization. Scaffolds with 90% porosity, specific surface areas of approximately 10 m2/g, and median pore sizes of 16 and 32 μm, respectively, were fabricated using an emulsion freeze-drying process. Contact radiography and radiomorphometry revealed the size of the initial defects (50 mm2) were reduced to 27 ± 11 mm2 and 34 ± 17 mm2 for CSDs treated with poly(D,L- lactide-co-glycolide). Histology and histomorphometry revealed scaffolds filled with significantly more de novo bone than negative controls (p < 0.007), more osteoid than both the negative and autograft controls (p < 0.002), and small masses of mineralized tissue (<15 μm in diameter) observed within the scaffolds. Based on these findings, we propose a change in the current paradigm regarding the microarchitecture of scaffolds for in vivo bone regeneration to include mechanisms based on hematoma stabilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology


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