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Jeffrey Marshall, DMD, MD

Can Engineered Bone Stromal Cell Microenvironments Predict Maxillofacial Reconstruction Outcomes?

Jeffrey Marshall, DMD, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Marschall is a 4th year oral and maxillofacial surgery resident. He earned his DMD, MD, and MS at the University of Louisville. In addition, he completed a research fellowship at the University of Zurich Hospital in Switzerland focusing on cell and tissue engineering under the direction of Dr. Martin Ehrbar, who serves as a collaborator on this project. He is committed to a full-time academic career after he graduates. His research interests include tissue engineering, computer-aided design and manufacturing, 3D printing, and facial traumatology.


Regeneration of bone in the craniofacial complex is a central focus for hospital and office-based oral and maxillofacial surgeons. To help augment the body’s ability to regenerate, engineers have spent considerable energy developing biomaterials to deliver signals that promote osteogenesis. While many investigations have proved fruitful in the pre-clinical setting, clinical translation has been less dramatic. Here we will use an optimized poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogel to help close the gap in knowledge of the interplay between how patient-specific biology correlates to clinical maxillofacial reconstruction outcomes. Specifically, this optimized platform allows for the possibility to screen donor-to-donor differences in stem-cell capacity to form bone in vivo, what we refer to as the inherent osteogenic potential. To translate this technological advancement to the oral and maxillofacial surgery arena, we have designed this project around the following hypothesis: patient’s who demonstrate a low osteogenic potential will have a higher likely hood of graft failure and/or complications than patients who possess a high osteogenic potential. This hypothesis will be tested in the following specific aims. Specific Aim 1:  We will determine the inherent osteogenic potential in a cohort of patients receiving autografts for reconstruction of mandibular defects. Specific Aim 2: We will correlate a patient’s inherent osteogenic potential to patient-specific graft outcomes. After completion of this project, we will have a new fundamental understanding of how patient-specific biology correlates to clinical maxillofacial reconstruction outcomes. In the future, this will give clinicians the ability to deliver custom-tailored treatment, which will ultimately result in better patient care.


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