Histopathological observations of a polylactic acid-based device intended for guided bone/tissue regeneration

Giuseppe Polimeni, Ki Tae Koo, Gordon A. Pringle, Alexis Agelan, Fayez F. Safadi, Ulf Me Wikesjö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background: Barrier devices have been shown to support alveolar bone and periodontal regeneration, a procedure also known as guided bone/tissue regeneration (GBR/GTR). Popular demand and clinical convenience have raised an interest in bioresorbable barrier devices. Tissue reactions to such bioresorbable devices are, however, generally not well explored. Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate short- and long-term tissue reactions following implantation of a bioresorbable polylactic acid (PLA)-based barrier device using a rat model. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one young adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were used. The animals were divided into three groups including 15 animals receiving the PLA device and animals serving as sham surgery (five) or nonoperated (one) controls. Using aseptic techniques, the PLA device was surgically implanted in direct contact with the calvarial bone. Animals receiving the PLA device were sacrificed at 3, 5, 7, and 12 months postsurgery to provide longitudinal histopathological observations of tissue and biomaterials reactions. Control animals were sacrificed at 3 months. Results: Animals were maintained without adverse events. Sham surgery and nonoperated control animals showed no signs of new bone formation or resorption, or signs of inflammatory reactions in adjoining soft tissues. In contrast, extensive amounts of residual biomaterial with evidence of foreign body reactions and bone resorption were observed in animals receiving the PLA device over 12 months. Conclusions: The results suggest that the PLA device may induce bone resorbing foreign body reactions. Importantly, the PLA device does not resorb within a 12-month healing interval. These biomaterials properties may influence new bone formation and maintenance when applying the device for GBR/GTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalClinical implant dentistry and related research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Bioresorbable
  • Bone
  • GBR
  • GTR
  • Guided bone regeneration
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Membranes
  • Polylactic acid
  • Rat
  • Tissue engineering
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • General Dentistry


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