Tissue engineering principles are contributing to the development of membranes to be employed in a range of therapies. Specifically in dentistry, membranes are being used in different clinical situations like treatment with dental implants, augmentation of alveolar bone and repair of traumatic and/or pathologic bone defects. We carried out in vitro experiments to compare a novel poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)/barium titanate (P(VDF-TrFE)/BT) membrane with polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) one and the results indicate that the majority of parameters related to tissue regeneration was enhanced by P(VDF-TrFE)/BT membrane in three different cell lines (osteoblasts, fibroblasts and keratinocytes). In this context, this study aimed at comparing the in vivo bone tissue response to P(VDF-TrFE)/BT and PTFE (control) membranes. Bone defects (5-mm-diameter) will be prepared in rat cavariae distributed in three groups based on membrane use: (1) P(VDF-TrFE)/BT; (2) PTFE; (3) without membrane. At 4 and 8 weeks, the animals will be euthanized and the calvariae harvested to the following assays: (1) tomographic analysis (microCT); (2) histological and histomorphometric analyses; gene expression (real-time PCR) of the bone markers, runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteocalcin (OC), osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) and receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (RANK). These bone markers will also be also detected in bone samples harvested from calvariae at the moment of the surgical procedure to implant the membranes aiming to compare the newly formed bone on membranes with previous calvarial bone. Five samples (n=5) for each membrane group and time and three (n=3) for the group without membrane will be evaluate. Statistical analysis will be selected according to the sampling distribution.
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