The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of maxillary sinus floor elevation by a tissue-engineered bone complex with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2)-loaded porous calcium phosphate cement (CPC) scaffold and bone marrow stromal cells (bMSCs) in rabbits. bMSCs were cultured and osteogenically induced. The osteoblastic differentiation of expanded bMSCs was detected by alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposits in vitro. Thirty-six rabbits were randomly allocated into week 2, 4 and 8 observation groups. At each time point, 24 maxillary sinus floor elevation surgeries in 12 rabbits were performed bilaterally and randomly implanted by (1) CPC materials alone (group A, n = 6), (2) rhBMP-2/CPC composite materials alone (group B, n = 6), (3) CPC/bMSCs complex (group C, n = 6) and (4) rhBMP-2/CPC/bMSCs complex (group D, n = 6). As for maxillary sinus floor elevation, rhBMP-2-loaded CPC could promote new bone formation as compared to CPC, while addition of bMSCs could further enhance its new bone formation and maturity significantly, as detected by histological findings, and fluorochrome labeling. Our data suggested that rhBMP-2/CPC possessed excellent osteoinductive ability, while combining with bMSCs could further promote new bone formation and maturation in maxillary sinus elevation.

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