The aims of scientific study were to test whether or not the application of an in situ-formed synthetic polyethylene glycol hydrogel (PEG) used as a biodegradable membrane for guided bone regeneration with a variety of graft materials and ambient oxygen or hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) environments would result in enhanced bone regeneration, and to observe the histologic and histomorphometric aspects of bone healing of the calvarial defects with and without a PEG membrane.
For this purpose 30 adult, skeletally mature, male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups of 10 animals each.
Bilateral 15-mm-diameter critical-size defects were created in the parietal bones of each animal.
- Group 1 served as a control with unfilled bilateral calvarial defects.
- Group 2 had bilateral calvarial defects filled with morcelized autogenous calvarial bone.
- Group 3 had bilateral calvarial defects filled with a biphasic calcium phosphate ceramic.
One of the calvarial defects was randomly protected with a PEG resorbable liquid membrane in each animal.
Five animals from each group underwent a course of HBO treatment (2.4 ATA 100% oxygen for 90 minutes 5 days a week for 4 weeks) and the other 5 served as control and did not receive any supplemental oxygen (normobaric).
The animals were killed 6 weeks after their surgery, and their parietal bones were harvested.
The specimens were analyzed with microscopic computerized tomography (microCT) scans and histomorphometrics.
Results have shown that the unfilled normobaric control bony defects did not heal, proving the critical-size nature of these defects.
The presence of autogenous bone or bone ceramic in the defects increased the bone volume fraction and bone mineral density of the defects (P < 0.001).
The presence of a membrane in the ungrafted and autogenous bone grafted defects resulted in a decrease in the corrected bone volume fraction (P = 0.002) but not in the bone ceramic grafted defects (P = 0.580).
Bony healing of defects where the membrane was unsupported was compromised; the membrane did not maintain the desired bone regeneration volume with the unfilled and autogenous bone grafted groups.
The PEG resorbable liquid membrane worked best with the bone ceramic material.
HBO did not ameliorate the healing of the autogenous bone graft or ceramic filled defects in the 6-week time period of this study.
Although the PEG resorbable liquid membrane is easy to use and forms an occlusive layer, caution is recommended when using the membrane over an unsupported defect.
HBO did not ameliorate bony healing with the membrane at the early 6-week time point.