A Clinical and Histologic Evaluation of Gingival Fibroblasts Seeding on a Chitosan-Based Scaffold and Its Effect on the Width of Keratinized Gingiva in Dogs
Background: Finding biocompatible matrix materials capable of enhancing the procedures of gingival augmentation is a major concern in periodontal research. This has prompted the investigation of a safe grafting technique by means of synthetic or natural polymers. The objective of this study is to examine the effect of a gingival fibroblast cultured on a naturally derived (i.e., chitosan-based) scaffold on the width of keratinized gingiva in dogs. Methods: Gingival fibroblasts were cultured from a small portion of hard palates of five dogs. A bilayered chitosan scaffold was seeded with the gingival fibroblasts and transferred to dogs. Surgery was performed bilaterally, and the regions were randomly divided into two groups: chitosan only (control site) and chitosan + fibroblast (test site). Periodontal parameters, including probing depth and width of keratinized and attached gingiva, were measured at baseline and 3 months after surgery. A histologic evaluation was also performed on the healed grafted sites. Results: Comparison of width of keratinized and attached gingiva in control and test sites showed that the mean width of keratinized and attached gingiva increased in each group after surgery. However, the difference between control and test groups was not statistically significant. Concerning the existence of the keratinized epithelium, exocytosis, and epithelium thickness, no significant difference was observed in test and control sites. The difference was significant in relation to rete ridge formation. Conclusion: The tissue-engineered graft consisting of chitosan + fibroblast was applied to gingival augmentation procedures and generated keratinized tissue without any complications usually associated with donor-site surgery. J Periodontol 2011;82:1367-1375.