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Barrier membranes: More than the barrier effect?

Journal article
Authors Omar Omar
Ibrahim Elgali
Christer Dahlin
Peter Thomsen
Published in Journal of Clinical Periodontology
Volume 46
Issue S21
Pages 103-123
ISSN 0303-6979
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Pages 103-123
Language en
Keywords guided-bone-regeneration, mesenchymal stem-cells, alveolar ridge, augmentation, necrosis-factor-alpha, endothelial progenitor cells, beta-tricalcium phosphate, titanium dental implants, critical-size, defects, binding peptide p-15, blood-filled spaces, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Biomaterials Science


Aim To review the knowledge on the mechanisms controlling membrane-host interactions in guided bone regeneration (GBR) and investigate the possible role of GBR membranes as bioactive compartments in addition to their established role as barriers. Materials and Methods A narrative review was utilized based on in vitro, in vivo and available clinical studies on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying GBR and the possible bioactive role of membranes. Results Emerging data demonstrate that the membrane contributes bioactively to the regeneration of underlying defects. The cellular and molecular activities in the membrane are intimately linked to the promoted bone regeneration in the underlying defect. Along with the native bioactivity of GBR membranes, incorporating growth factors and cells in membranes or with graft materials may augment the regenerative processes in underlying defects. Conclusion In parallel with its barrier function, the membrane plays an active role in hosting and modulating the molecular activities of the membrane-associated cells during GBR. The biological events in the membrane are linked to the bone regenerative and remodelling processes in the underlying defect. Furthermore, the bone-promoting environments in the two compartments can likely be boosted by strategies targeting both material aspects of the membrane and host tissue responses.

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