Calvarial bone defects are a common clinical scenario in craniofacial surgery. Numerous approaches are used to reconstruct skull defects, and each possesses its own inherent disadvantages. This fact underscores the opportunity to develop a novel method to repair osseous defects in craniofacial surgery. Recent literature strongly suggests that cell-based therapies in the form of regenerative medicine may be a developing paradigm in reconstructive surgery. Although numerous studies have probed osteoprogenitor cells from mice, few have explored the biology of human cells in the setting of osteogenesis in an equally rigorous manner. This study proposes a nude mouse model of critical-sized calvarial defects to study the in vivo biology of human osteoprogenitor cells. Critical-sized 4.0-mm calvarial defects were created in nude mice (n = 15) with a custom trephine drill bit outfitted to a dental drill handpiece. During the craniotomy, the dura mater was spared from injury. Gross inspection, routine histology, and micro-computed tomographic scanning were performed at 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks postoperatively. There was no calvarial healing in any of the animals by 16 weeks. The dura mater remained intact in all subjects. Gross, histologic, and radiographic assays confirmed these findings. Although several studies have implanted human osteoprogenitor cells in vivo in various animal models, few have documented the appropriate controls or conditions necessary to support the potential to translate benchtop findings into clinical applications. We propose in this study that the nude mouse critical-sized calvarial defect model will be valuable with increasing investigations with human osteoprogenitor cells.
View details for Web of Science ID 000252619900032
View details for PubMedID 18216688