A major drawback of nanocomposite scaffolds in bone tissue engineering is dimensional shrinkage after the fabrication process. Shrinkage yields gaps between the scaffold and host bone in the defect site and eventually causes failure in osteointegration by micromovement. The present study was conducted using titanium (Ti) mesh and Gelfoam®
to prevent radial and axial micromovement, respectively. A critical-sized defect (CSD) was created in the center of the calvarium of Sprague Dawley rats to implant porous polydopamine-laced hydroxyapatite collagen calcium silicate (HCCS-PDA), a novel nanocomposite scaffold. Gelfoam®
was applied around the edge of the defect, and then the HCCS-PDA scaffold was inserted in the defect area. Ti mesh was placed between the periosteum and skin right, above the inserted scaffold site. There were two test groups, with a fixture (Gelfoam®
and Ti mesh) and without a fixture, each group contained five animals. The rats were sacrificed after three months post-operation. The explanted calvaria underwent micro-CT scanning and a push-out test to quantify osteointegration and mechanical strength between the scaffold and host bone. Histological analysis of undecalcified bone was performed by grinding resin infiltrated calvaria blocks to prepare 10 μm slices. Osteointegration was higher in the group with fixation than without fixation. Movement of the HCCS-PDA scaffold in the gap resulted in diminished osteointegration. With fixation, the movement was inhibited and osteointegration became prominent. Here we present a successful method of preventing axial and radial movement of scaffolds using Gelfoam®
and Ti mesh. Applying this fixture, we expect that an HCCS-PDA scaffold can repair CSD more effectively.
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