Partial resection of the maxilla (maxillectomy) and mandible is performed in patients with extensive benign or malign tumors as well as medication related and radiation induced osteonecrosis of the jaws. Reconstruction of such segmental defects is most commonly performed with autologous, microsurgically anastomosed free flaps
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Tissue Engineering (Bioprinting)
Free flap harvesting in order to reconstruct segmental defects of the mandible and maxilla are associated with donor site morbidity. Complex 3D reconstruction is possible, but limited due to anatomical restrictions (vascular supply, minimum bone segment length, angles and total flap length) of currently available treatment options. These limitations could be overcome with tissue engineering, aiming to build and implant ex vivo cultivated 3D scaffolds. Several hurdles need to be removed before this technique is applicable for the reconstruction of complex long-distance jaw defects. We work in several projects on the ideal biomaterial composition and mechanobiological optimization of bioprinted and 3D printed solutions.
A sub-project of this focus of our working group has been funded within the framework of an EU project (Horizon 2020 programme) since 2021: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/953169/de