Bone tissue engineering using polyetherketoneketone scaffolds combined with autologous mesenchymal stem cells in a sheep calvarial defect model

Carina Adamzyk, Paul Kachel, Mareike Hoss, Felix Gremse, Ali Modabber, Frank Hoelzle, Rene Tolba, Sabine Neuss, Bernd Lethaus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Web of Science)


Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) a high performance thermoplastic polymer that is FDA-approved for cranio- and maxillo-facial as well as spineal surgery. We studied the viability, growth and osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived human and sheep mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in combination with a 3D scaffold made of PEKK using different cell-based assays. To investigate if autologous MSC, either undifferentiated or osteogenically pre-differentiated, augmented bone formation after implantation, we implanted cell-seeded 3D PEKK scaffolds into calvarial defects in sheep for 12 weeks. The volume and quality of newly formed bone were investigated using micro-computer tomography (micro-CT) and histological stainings. Our results show that the 3D PEKK scaffolds were cyto- and bio-compatible. They allowed for adherence, growth and osteogenic differentiation of human and ovine MSC. However, bone healing seemed unaffected by whether the scaffolds were seeded with MSC. Considerable amounts of newly formed bone were found in all PEKK treated groups, but a fibrous capsule was formed around the implants regardless of cell seeding with MSC. European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-994
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Tissue engineering
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Biomaterials
  • Bone reconstruction
  • Polyetherketoneketone

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