The Journal of craniofacial surgery

Mandibular distraction osteogenesis with newly designed electromechanical distractor.

PMID 24914755


The purposes of this study were to design a fully automatic electromechanical distractor for continuous mandibular distraction osteogenesis and to investigate the efficacy of this newly developed distractor on sheep mandible model. Five sheep underwent unilateral mandibular osteotomy, and the mechanical component of electromechanical distractor was fixed on both sides of the osteotomy site using pins. After a 5-day latency period, the electromechanical distractor was activated at a rate of 0.30 mm per 8 hours using an electronic control unit. The bone was lengthened for 20 days without any intervention to the electromechanical distractor. The animals were killed on the sixth week of the consolidation period, and 5 distracted mandibles were examined through macroscopic observation and computed tomography. Distracted bone length was measured through computed tomography on sagittal slices. The device was tolerated by the distraction process without complications in all animals. New callus formation was observed on the distraction gap. Radiologic evaluation showed new callus formation in the distraction gap. New callus length was found to be, in average, 18.28 mm. In this preliminary study, a newly designed electromechanical distractor was successfully used for mandible distraction, which mainly provided a continuous lengthening during activation period spontaneously without any intervention. We think that the clinical application of this electromechanic distractor may provide patient comfort during distraction. Moreover, electromechanical distractor has the potential for high-resolution movement capacity when compared with annual distraction. The promising results from this prototype are encouraging to further investigations for human applications.