Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) will be mixed with gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel and bio-printed in a bioreactor chamber, followed by photocrosslinking and differentiation culture to osteogenic lineage. Afterwards, the bioreactor chamber containing the GelMA-ADSC construct will be implanted in sheep scapula to generate vascularized bone tissue that can be used for bone defect repair for various clinical applications.
Cancers affecting the head-neck region require aggressive removal of soft and bony tissue to ensure complete clearance. At present, bony free flaps are commonly used for restoring large jawbone defects; however, this strategy requires additional time-consuming surgery, can affect a patient’s quality of life, and rarely matches the original facial geometry. Stem cells derived from fat tissue, also known as adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are of particular interest in new bone formation because they can transform into bone cells. ADSCs have also accelerated large defect repair in long bone in several animal models. In this study, we will mix ADSCs and a hydrogel called Gelatin Methacryloyl (GelMA) and 3D print into a chamber made of modified Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK). These constructs will be implanted subcutaneously on the back and in the shoulder bone in a sheep model to investigate the bone-forming potential of ADSCs, which can be applied in segmental lower jawbone defect repair in the future. This study will investigate how these ADSCs can regenerate bone tissue using the regenerative potential of bone covering membrane called periosteum and scapular bone. This will provide strong rationale for the next phase of the study to investigate the potential of ADSCs in a segmental defect repair in mandible.