Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to develop an animal model for creating alveolar cleft defects with properly simulated clinical defect environment for tissue-engineered bone-substitute materials testing without compromising the health of the animal. Cleft creation surgery was aimed at creating a complete alveolar cleft with a wide bone defect with an epithelial lining (oral mucosa) overlying the cleft defect.
Methods: A postmortem skull of a New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit skull (Oryctolagus cuniculus) underwent an osteological and imaging survey. A pilot postmortem surgery was conducted to confirm the feasability of a surgical procedure and the defect was also radiologically confirmed and illustrated with micro-computed tomography. Then, a surgical in vivo model was tested and evaluated in 16 (n = 16) 8-week-old NZW rabbits to create in vivo alveolar cleft creation surgery.
Results: Clinical examination and imaging analysis 8 weeks after cleft creation surgery revealed the establishment of a wide skeletal defect extending to the nasal mucosa simulating alveolar clefts in all of the rabbits.
Conclusions: Our surgical technique was successful in creating a sizable and predictable model for bone grafting material testing. The model allows for simulating the cleft site environment and can be used to evaluate various bone grafting materials in regard to efficacy of osteogenesis and healing potential without compromising the health of the animal.
- Animal testing
- Cleft lip and palate
- IN-UTERO REPAIR
- AUTOLOGOUS BONE
- PALATE RESEARCH
- DENTIN GRAFTS