Importance Bioresorbable fixation systems have been popular for the treatment of facial fractures. However, their mechanical properties are uncertain and complications have been reported. To overcome these problems, we developed a bioresorbable fixation plate using a composite of silk fibroin and bacterial cellulose (SF-BC) with biodegradability and increased biocompatibility.
Objective To investigate the regenerative effect of the bioresorbable SF-BC fixation plate on zygomatic arch defects in rats.
Design In vivo animal study. The SF-BC composite plate had a tensile strength similar to that of a polylactic acid plate and a tight, pore-free microstructure. Bilateral segmental bone defects (2 mm in length) were created in the zygomatic arches of adult rats. One side was fixed with the SF-BC composite plate, and the other side was left without fixation.
Setting Academic research laboratory.
Participants Fifteen adult Sprague-Dawley rats.
Interventions Fixation of the zygomatic arch defect with the SF-BC composite plate.
Main Outcomes and Measures Micro–computed tomography and histological evaluation of bone samples.
Results Gross inspection revealed no specific complication. At 1, 2, 4, and 8 postoperative weeks, the zygomatic arches were explored by micro–computed tomography and histological examination. Control sides did not heal completely and showed bony degeneration and necrosis during the 8-week follow-up. However, we observed new bone formation in sides treated with the SF-BC composite plate, and bony defects were completely healed within 8 weeks.
Conclusions and Relevance The SF-BC composite plate is a potential candidate for a new bioresorbable fixation system. Our composite material could considerably shorten bone regeneration time. Additional study of the control of biodegradability and mechanical properties of SF-BC composite plates and a comparative study with the resorbable plates currently in use should be undertaken.