Dipyridamole-loaded 3D-printed bioceramic scaffolds stimulate pediatric bone regeneration in vivo without disruption of craniofacial growth through facial maturity
Wang MM, Flores RL, Witek L, Torroni A, Ibrahim A, Wang Z, Liss HA, Cronstein BN, Lopez CD, Maliha SG, Coelho PG
Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):18439. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54726-6
Repair of craniofacial bone deficits in pediatric patients presents many challenges, including the limited availability of autograft bone and the general inability of alloplastic materials to grow with the patient. Accordingly, a need exists for development of tissue engineering strategies for craniofacial bone regeneration in pediatric patients that does not impede craniofacial growth. A recent article by Wang et al. applied a multimodal investigation of 3D-printed bioceramic scaffolds releasing the osteogenic agent dipyridamole in calvarial and alveolar bone defects in a growing rabbit model over the course of 6 months. The study included radiographic, histologic, and mechanical analyses of bone regeneration, as well as 3D facial symmetry analyses to assess potential impacts of the scaffolds on sutural growth. Unique aspects of the study include the 6 month time-frame, during which the rabbits were expected to reach skeletal maturity, and the inclusion of autograft bone grafting as a control group. The authors report vascular, cellular, and mechanical outcomes of the 3D-printed scaffolds comparable to the native bone and autograft control groups at 6 months, with no negative effects on sutural patency or facial symmetry observed in any group. Overall, the study suggests the potential of dipyridamole release from 3D-printed bioceramic scaffolds to support craniofacial bone regeneration in pediatric patients without deleteriously affecting craniofacial growth or symmetry.