The aims of this study were to establish an experimental rat model for distraction osteogenesis of the mandible and alveolar bone for the investigation of histologic and radiographic analysis and to develop the device for various distraction models. For osteotomy location and distraction device design, micro-computed tomographic analysis of the structure of rat mandible was performed. Twenty mandibles of Sprawl-Dawley rats were osteotomized based on the analysis, and newly developed custom-made devices were applied with bone screws. After a 5-day latency period, a distraction of 0.2 mm at a single session, and a 4-week consolidation period, animals were killed for histologic samples. The rat distraction osteogenesis model for the inferior mandibular border and alveolar bone was successfully established based on the protocols used in this study. New bone formation occurred at both body and alveolar bones of the mandible by the combination of 2 modes: intramembranous ossification was predominant at the end of distraction period, whereas endochondral ossification was observed at the center of the distraction gap at the end of the 4-week consolidation period. This model can be applied to various conditions related to distraction osteogenesis and provide information for the development of improvements in clinical treatments using distraction osteogenesis.
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