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Resorbable engineered barrier membranes for oral surgery applications.

Population aging, reduced economic capacity, and neglecting the treatments for oral pathologies, are the main causal factors for about 3 billion individuals who are suffering from partial/total edentulism or alveolar bone resorption: thus, the demand for dental implants is increasingly growing. To achieve a good prognosis for implant-supported restorations, adequate peri-implant bone volume is mandatory. The Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) technique is one of the most applied methods for alveolar bone reconstruction and treatment of peri-implant bone deficiencies. This technique involves the use of different types of membranes in association with some bone substitutes (autologous, homologous, or heterologous). However, time for bone regeneration is often too long and the bone quality is not simply predictable. This study aims at engineering and evaluating the efficacy of modified barrier membranes, enhancing their bioactivity for improved alveolar bone tissue regeneration. We investigated membranes functionalized with chitosan (CS) and chitosan combined with the peptide GBMP1α (CS + GBMP1α), to improve bone growth. OsseoGuard® membranes, derived from bovine Achilles tendon type I collagen crosslinked with formaldehyde, were modified using CS and CS + GBMP1α. The functionalization, carried out with 1-ethyl-3-(3 dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide and sulfo-N-Hydroxysuccinimide (EDC/sulfo-NHS), was assessed through FT-IR and XPS analyses. Biological assays were performed by directly seeding human osteoblasts onto the materials to assess cell proliferation, mineralization, gene expression of Secreted Phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1) and Runt-Related Transcription Factor 2 (Runx2), and antibacterial properties. Both CS and CS + GBMP1α functionalizations significantly enhanced human osteoblast proliferation, mineralization, gene expression, and antibacterial activity compared to commercial membranes. The CS + GBMP1α functionalization exhibited superior outcomes in all biological assays. Mechanical tests showed no significant alterations of membrane biomechanical properties post-functionalization. The engineered membranes, especially those functionalized with CS + GBMP1α, are suitable for GBR applications thanks to their ability to enhance osteoblast activity and promote bone tissue regeneration. These findings suggest a potential advancement in the treatment of oral cavity problems requiring bone regeneration.

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