STEM CELL ENGINEERING AND CRANIOFACIAL RECONSTRUCTION
For the past thirty years the microvascular fibula free flap has been the work horse
for mandibular and maxillary reconstruction for large defects. The introduction of transcription factors such as bone morphogenetic protein – 2 has more recently been used to successfully reconstruct bone defects when there is an adequate soft tissue envelope. Recent advances in stem cell engineering using adipose derived stem cells, scaffolds, and bioreactors hold promise for precise three-dimensional reconstruction of bone defects. This presentation will provide an overview of stem cell biology and describe recent advances in the use of bioreactors in designing anatomically correct grafts. The ramus/condyle unit reconstruction will serve as a model and will be described in detail.