3D-Printed Soft Membrane for Periodontal Guided Tissue Regeneration

Materials 2023 Volume 16, Issue 4, Article 1364

Objectives: The current study aimed to perform an in vivo examination using a critical-size periodontal canine model to investigate the capability of a 3D-printed soft membrane for guided tissue regeneration (GTR). This membrane is made of a specific composition of gelatin, elastin, and sodium hyaluronate that was fine-tuned and fully characterized in vitro in our previous study. The value of this composition is its potential to be employed as a suitable replacement for collagen, which is the main component of conventional GTR membranes, to overcome the cost issue with collagen. Methods: Critical-size dehiscence defects were surgically created on the buccal surface of the roots of canine bilateral mandibular teeth. GTR treatment was performed with the 3D-printed membrane and two commercially available collagen membranes (Botiss Jason® and Smartbrane-Regedent membranes) and a group without any membrane placement was considered as the control group. The defects were submerged with tension-free closure of the gingival flaps. Histologic and histometric analyses were employed to assess the periodontal healing over an 8-week experimental period. Results: Histometric evaluations confirmed higher levels of new bone formation in the 3D-printed membrane group. Moreover, in all defects treated with the membranes, the formation of periodontal tissues, bone, periodontal ligaments, and cementum was observed after 8 weeks, while in the control group, only connective tissue was found in the defect sites. There was no clinical sign of inflammation or recession of gingiva in any of the groups. Significance: The 3D-printed gelatin/elastin/sodium hyaluronate membrane can be safe and effective for use in GTR for periodontal tissue regeneration therapies, with better or comparable results to the commercial collagen membranes.