Development of an alternative alveolar bone graft for cleft lip and palate

Background: Patients presenting with clefts extending into the maxillary alveolar ridge, may be treated by bone grafts. Secondary alveolar bone grafts (ABG), regarded as the gold standard of ABG, were first introduced by Boyne and Sands 1972 (1) and are performed at the stage of mixed dentition (2). However, there are significant problems associated with the use of such grafts, mainly that a second surgical site is required which has its own morbidity associated. 

Research Objectives: There is therefore a significant requisite to improve upon the current technology available for bone grafts and remodelling. This project will investigate and characterise novel osteogenic materials, to establish whether they provide potential solutions to the clinical and ethical problems of current grafting techniques. The osteogenic materials will be evaluated to assess their potential viability in a novel in vitro cell-based assay which will be developed as part of this project. The success of the project will require a multi-disciplinary approach and will have a significant input from an industrial partner with expertise in the design of osteogenic materials.

Research Methodology:

Aim 1: Development of a Novel in vitro Osteogenesis Model.

Aim 2: Establishing whether Osteogenesis can be more Authentically Modelled by a Co-culture System.

Aim 3: Testing and Characterisation of the Novel Calcium Phosphate (CaP) Based Materials in the Osteogenesis Model.


1. Boyne P., Sands N.D., (1972) J. Oral Maxillofac Surg. 30: 87-96.

2. Feichtinger, M., Mossbock, R., Karcher, H.  (2006) J. Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 34: 144-149.

Dr Sarah Jones
Funder information: 

Self funding or Government Sponsorship