This article will present an image-based approach to the designing and manufacturing of biomimetic tissue engineered temporomandibular (TMJ) condylar prosthesis. Our vision of a tissue-engineered TMJ prosthesis utilizes a 3-D designed and manufactured biodegradable scaffold shaped similar to a condylar head and neck, i.e. a condylar-ramus unit (CRU). The fabricated CRU scaffold can be constructed with a specific intra-architectural design such that it will enhance the formation of tissue from implanted cells placed within its interstices. These biologic cues could influence scaffold-implanted mesen-chymal stem cells (MSC) or bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) to form a fibrocartilaginous joint surface, or cap, on top of a bony strut, similar to a costochondral rib graft (CCRG), which could be fixed to the mandibular ramus. This new approach to tissue engineering a TMJ would be advantageous because of its patient site-specific anatomical configuration as well as its potential ability to adapt to the loading forces placed on it during function.
- Temporomandibular joint
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