A Radiological Approach to Evaluate Bone Graft Integration in Reconstructive Surgeries




Applied Sciences


C. F. Grottoli, R. Ferracini, M. Compagno, A.  Tombolesi, O. Rampado, L. Pilone, A. Bistolfi, A. Borrè, A. Cingolaniand G. Perale


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(1) Background: Bone tissue engineering is a promising tool to develop new smart solutions
for regeneration of complex bone districts, from orthopedic to oral and maxillo-facial fields. In this
respect, a crucial characteristic for biomaterials is the ability to fully integrate within the patient
body. In this work, we developed a novel radiological approach, in substitution to invasive histology,
for evaluating the level of osteointegration and osteogenesis, in both qualitative and quantitative
manners. (2) SmartBone®, a composite xeno-hybrid bone graft, was selected as the base material
because of its remarkable effectiveness in clinical practice. Using pre- and post-surgery computed
tomography (CT), we built 3D models that faithfully represented the patient’s anatomy, with special
attention to the bone defects. (3) Results: This way, it was possible to assess whether the new
bone formation respected the natural geometry of the healthy bone. In all cases of the study (four
dental, one maxillo-facial, and one orthopedic) we evaluated the presence of new bone formation
and volumetric increase. (4) Conclusion: The newly established radiological protocol allowed the
tracking of SmartBone®effective integration and bone regeneration. Moreover, the patient’s anatomy
was completely restored in the defect area and functionality completely rehabilitated without foreign
body reaction or inflammation.


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