Scaffolds For Dental Bone Grafts

Swansea University's Centre for NanoHealth are working with Osseo Regenerative Technologies, a dental technology company, who develop smart scaffold materials for bone graft applications, on the development of novel scaffolds for dental bone grafts.

CNH researchers and Osseo Regenerative Technologies are developing new scaffold materials  for bone grafting applications. Bone grafts are used where a patient’s own bone is deficient or is insufficient to perform its mechanical support function.  The most common use of bone grafting is in the application of dental implants. Most bone grafts are expected to be reabsorbed and replaced as the natural bone heals over a few months time.

A variety of materials can be used in bone grafts, including: autograft (bone from the patient themselves); allografts (alternative human bone sources); xenografts (e.g. bovine bone or natural scaffolds such as coral); alloplastic grafts (grafts using synthetic scaffolds such as calcium based cements or polymer scaffolds).  The ideal scaffold would allow cells to infuse into its porous structure and eventually be replaced by the patient’s own bone (osteogenesis). Currently there is not an optimal scaffold for bone grafts.

Osseo Regenerative Technologies has been able to access the research expertise and superb materials and cell imaging facilities at the CNH.  Joint development of new materials and cell growth trials has lead to a greater understanding of scaffold materials and their suitability for dental bone grafts.  The CNH provides an open access centre for tissue regeneration R&D, with the capability for high value research. CNH can perform feasibility studies, routine analysis and characterisation and commercial development right through to clinical trials.

David Guy, Director of Osseo Regenerative Technologies, “By assessing scaffold susceptibility toward colonisation by bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and differentiation of MSCs into bone-like cells – analysed using Immunocytochemistry - we can develop successful scaffold products for the bone graft market.

Experts at CNH have helped us analyse a number of materials, using their world-class materials imaging facilities. CNH has also a team of experts in tissue engineering, cell culturing and protein analysis. The combination of engineering and biotechnology skills available is unparalleled and one of the main reasons we initiated the collaboration with CNH”.