NYUCD has been awarded a one-year grant from the Academy of Osseointegration to study the effectiveness of three-dimensional bone tissue scaffolds in regenerating missing sections of skull. The study is an outgrowth of an earlier test using a three-dimensional bone tissue scaffold printer that could substantially reduce bone regeneration time in the oral cavity and elsewhere in the body. NYUCD is believed to be the only dental school testing the printer for bone regeneration.
According to coprincipal investigator Elizabeth Clark, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics, the study involves both in vitro and in vivo testing of scaffolds made from hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate packed with calcium sulfate and a platelet-derived protein to stimulate bone and blood vessel cell growth. The scaffolds are made by a robotic deposition printer, or Robocaster, that can print layered, porous, three-dimensional scaffolds from data obtained from CT scans and MRIs of missing or damaged bone and other sources. Because the structural elements of the scaffolds are similar in size to bone structure (~200μm), the bone is expected to grow more quickly and accurately than bone generated from other random-orientation tissue scaffolds. Ms. Clark and Dr. John Ricci, Associate Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics and a coinvestigator on the grant, are collaborating with Dr. Jim Smay and his graduate student Cornelia Vasiliu at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Smay built the Robocaster for NYUCD.