Rat mandibular distraction osteogenesis: Latency, rate, and rhythm determine the adaptive response
Distraction osteogenesis is a well-established technique of endogenous tissue engineering. The biomechanical factors thought to affect the quality of the distraction regenerate include the latency, rate, rhythm, and consolidation period. In an effort to understand the impact of these parameters on regenerate bone formation, this study was designed to decipher the most adaptive response in a rat model of mandibular distraction osteogenesis. Ninety-six adult Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 16 subgroups (n = 6 per subgroup) based on variations in the distraction parameters (i.e., latency, rate, and rhythm). After a 28-day consolidation period, the mandibles were harvested, decalcified, and sectioned. A standardized histologic ranking system was used to evaluate the effect of each protocol on the adaptive response of the regenerate bone. In this study, we have demonstrated that the latency period dramatically affects the success of distraction osteogenesis. Furthermore, distraction rates up to 0.50 mm per day stimulated excellent regenerate bone formation, whereas greater distraction rates produced a fibrous union. Finally, higher frequency distraction (i.e., increased rhythm) appeared to accelerate regenerate bone formation. We believe that defining the critical parameters of this model will improve future analysis of gene expression during rat mandibular distraction osteogenesis and may facilitate the development of biologically based strategies designed to enhance regenerate bone formation.