Lasers in Medical Science, vol.37, no.1, pp.595-606, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature.Reconstruction of bone defects is still a significant challenge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of application of photobiomodulation (PBM) to enhance in vivo bone regeneration and osteogenic differentiation potential of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) encapsulated in methacrylated gelatin (GEL-MA) hydrogels. Thirty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly separated into 3 experimental groups (n = 12 each). The groups were control/blank defect (I), GEL-MA hydrogel (II), and ADSC-loaded GEL-MA (GEL-MA+ADSC) hydrogel (III). Biparietal critical sized bone defects (6 mm in size) are created in each animal. Half of the animals from each group (n = 6 each) were randomly selected for PBM application using polychromatic light in the near infrared region, 600–1200 nm. PBM was administered from 10 cm distance cranially in 48 h interval. The calvaria were harvested at the 20th week, and macroscopic, microtomographic, and histologic evaluation were performed for further analysis. Microtomographic evaluation demonstrated the highest result for mineralized matrix formation (MMF) in group III. PBM receiving samples of group III showed mean MMF of 79.93±3.41%, whereas the non-PBM receiving samples revealed mean MMF of 60.62±6.34 % (p=0.002). In terms of histologic evaluation of bone defect repair, the higher scores were obtained in the groups II and III when compared to the control group (2.0 for both PBM receiving and non-receiving specimens; p<0.001). ADSC-loaded microwave-induced GEL-MA hydrogels and periodic application of photobiomodulation with polychromatic light appear to have beneficial effect on bone regeneration and can stimulate ADSCs for osteogenic differentiation.