Human fat-derived mesenchymal stem cells xenogenically implanted in a rat model show enhanced new bone formation in maxillary alveolar tooth defects

Andrew Wofford, Austin Bow, Steven Newby, Seth Brooks, Rachel Rodriguez, Tom Masi, Stacy Stephenson, Jack Gotcher, David E. Anderson, Josh Campbell, Madhu Dhar



Due to restorative concerns, bone regenerative therapies have garnered much attention in the field of human oral/maxillofacial surgery. Current treatments using autologous and allogenic bone grafts, suffer from inherent challenges and hence, the ideal bone replacement therapy is yet to be found. Establishing a model by which MSCs can be placed in a clinically acceptable bone defect to promote bone healing will prove valuable to oral/maxillofacial surgeons.


Human adipose tissue derived MSCs were seeded onto Gelfoam® and their viability, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation was evaluated in vitro. Subsequently, the construct was implanted in a rat maxillary alveolar bone defect to assess in vivo bone healing and regeneration.


Human MSCs adhered, proliferated, were uniformly distributed, and underwent osteogenic differentiation on Gelfoam®, comparable with the tissue culture surface. Data confirmed that Gelfoam® could be used as a scaffold for cell attachment and a delivery vehicle to implant MSCs in vivo. Histomorphometric analyses of bones harvested from rats treated with hMSCs showed statistically significant increase in collagen/early bone formation, with cells positive for osteogenic and angiogenic markers in the defect site. This pattern was visible as early as 4 weeks post treatment.


Xenogenically implanted human MSCs have the potential to heal an alveolar tooth defect in rats. Gelfoam®, a commonly used clinical biomaterial can serve as a scaffold to deliver and maintain MSCs to the defect site. Translating this strategy to preclinical animal models provides hope for bone tissue engineering.



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