Cranioplasty is necessary for patients that have undergone craniectomy following trauma, stroke or other causes of elevated intracranial pressure. This study assessed the effectiveness of treating cranial defects with allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) on a ceramic carrier and polymer scaffold, to produce viable bone and healing of a cranial void. Patients underwent a baseline computed tomography (CT) scan for construct design. Two sets of interlocking moulds were three-dimensional printed to enable shaping of two polymer meshes, which formed the boundaries of the construct corresponding to restoration of the skull interna and externa. In vitro expanded donor MSC were seeded onto ceramic granules in a good manufacturing practices facility. The inner mesh was placed in theatre, followed by the cell-loaded granules, and the outer mesh. Patients were followed-up at 3, 6 and 12 months and cosmesis assessed visually, while bone formation was assessed by CT scans at 1 day, 3 months and 12 months. Manufacture of the construct and surgery was uneventful for all three patients. Initial cosmesis was excellent with no complications. New bone formation was demonstrated by analysis of CT data; however, bone resorption was noted in all 3 cases on the 12-month CT scan. The lack of rigidity of the construct in an environment with continuous pulsatile movement may be preventing the formation of solid bone. It is possible to produce a customized allogeneic MSC construct for cranial reconstruction to replace cranial bone with good cosmesis, using a combination of medical computer modelling, rapid-prototyping and tissue engineering.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2018|