Development and Characterization of a Rabbit Model of Compromised Maxillofacial Wound Healing.

An Osteo Science Foundation-funded research project


Background: Tissue engineering technologies aiming to enhance maxillofacial wound healing are often tested in vivo in preclinical models that do not necessarily reflect the complexity of the clinical need. The aim of this study was to develop a rabbit model of compromised craniofacial wound healing that more accurately mimics clinical scenarios.

Materials and Methods: An experimental group of rabbits received fractionated radiation of the mandible totaling 36 Gy. Four weeks after irradiation, both the experimental group and control group (n = 10/group) underwent a surgical procedure creating a critical size defect in the mandibular bone. Four weeks after surgery, tissue healing was assessed using microcomputed tomography (μCT), maximum intensity projection (MIP) scoring, and histopathology.

Results:μCT analysis and MIP scoring showed decreased mineralized tissue in the defect area of irradiated animals compared to the control group. Histopathology showed necrosis in the experimental group.

Conclusions: Irradiated animals showed significantly compromised wound healing compared to controls. This preclinical model presents a clinically relevant environment for the investigation of novel wound healing technologies in a compromised critical size bone defect.

Citation Information:

Development and Characterization of a Rabbit Model of Compromised Maxillofacial Wound Healing.

Piotrowski S, Wilson L, Dharmaraj N, Hamze A, Clark A, Tailor R, Hill L, Lai S, Kasper FK, Young S. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2019 Feb 12. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2018.0361. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 30747042

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