Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Zhao Lin


Periodontal disease is a bacterial induced chronic inflammatory condition that occurs in a susceptible host, affecting the teeth, gingiva, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. The resultant pathological bone defects often require surgical intervention, with the ultimate goal being regeneration of the periodontium through the application of grafting materials and biologics. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show great potential in regenerative medicine for their ability to enhance cell proliferation and differentiation, increase angiogenesis, and modulate the immune response. Stem cell-derived by-products, known as exosomes are a specific class of lipid-membrane-bound extracellular vesicles that are proliferative and chemotactic, are able to inhibit cytokine production, and may suppress differentiation of osteoclasts. The aim of this study is to determine if the delivery of exosomes into rat calvarial defects will increase regeneration by reducing the residual defect area and enhancing bone volume. Male Sprague-Dawley rats with bilateral 5mm surgically-created calvarial defects were randomized into groups and treated with low- and high-dose exosome suspensions via a collagen gel matrix or a PBS-soaked collagen control. After 4 weeks, the calvaria were harvested and analyzed via micro computed tomography (micro-CT). Volumetric micro-CT analysis showed that defects treated with high-dose exosomes displayed a trend towards enhanced bone healing. Based on the results of this pilot study, treatment with exosomes could be a promising therapeutic approach for treatment of bone defects.


© Jill Beitz

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