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Chief Investigator:

Dr. Yin Xiao1 PhD, MDSc, BDSc. Associate Professor of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering

Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology

Address: 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059.

Telephone: +61 7 31386240 Fax: +61 7 31386030 Email: yin.xiao@qut.edu.au

Other investigators:

Dr. Ross Crawford1,2 PhD, BMSc, Professor of Orthopedic Research
Dr. Wei Fan1 PhD, DDS, BDSc, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Xinzhan Mao1,2,3 PhD, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Visiting Fellow
Mr. Thor Friis1 BSci (hons), Research Assistant

1 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
2 Orthopaedic Department, Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
3 Orthopaedic Department, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan, China

Institution at which research will be conducted:

Medical Engineering Research Facility (MERF), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), The Prince Charles Hospital campus, Chermside, QLD

Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD

Hypothesis and aims:

The treatment of large bone defects, caused by trauma, inflammation or tumors, represents a major challenge for orthopedic surgeons. Stem cells sourced from tissues such as bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs), are now widely used to promote new bone formation in bone defect areas. Being able to enhance the bone forming ability of such stem cells is currently a hot topic in the field of bone tissue engineering. Our study demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) can enhance biomineralization and in vitro differentiation of BMSCs[1], but whether such treatment translates to enhance in vivo bone forming capacity in tissue engineered bone substitute, thereby promoting large bone defect healing, remains unknown. Based on these considerations, the principal aims of this research proposal are:

  1. To optimize the conditions of HBO treatment on stem cell/scaffold complexes for osteogenesis and avoid possible cytotoxic effects of HBO;
  2. Using a calvarial defect model in rat to evaluate the effects of HBO on bone defect healing after the BMSCs/scaffold complex transplantation.


Outcomes and significances:

The possible outcomes from this project could be:

  1. Hyperbaric oxygen can significantly enhance bone formation both in vitro and in vivo and promote faster healing of large bone defects;
  2. Hyperbaric oxygen do not present any major cytotoxic or other adverse effects under optimized condition;
  3. HBO can be utilized to construct tissue engineered product for bone defect repair and regeneration.


The significances of this project are the following:

  1. This project would be the first to investigate the in vivo effects of hyperbaric oxygen on the new bone formation in large defect sites after transplantation of stem cell/scaffold construct;
  2. It will provide useful protocols and model for in vivo studies of biological effects of hyperbaric oxygen;
  3. It may provide an alternative mode of therapy for patients suffering from large bone defects that are both effective and economic.



A large HBO chamber for animal study has been equipped at the Medical Engineering and Research Facility, the Prince Charles Hospital Campus of Queensland University of Technology.



[1]. Wu D, Malda J, Crawford R, Xiao Y. Effects of hyperbaric oxygen on proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts from human alveolar bone. Connect Tissue Res 2007;48(4):206-13.


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