History of synthetic materials in alloplastic cranioplasty

Dominic A. Harris, Abigail J. Fong, Edward P. Buchanan, Laura Monson, David Khechoyan, Sandi Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


When faced with calvarial defects, surgeons have long searched for repair materials. General criteria include ease of use, low cost, availability, cosmetic shape, and osteointegrative potential. While autologous bone is widely used and favored in contemporary reconstructive procedures, synthetic alternatives have been used throughout history and are necessary in current practice for select cases when autograft reconstruction is not an option (such as cases with severe bony comminution, bone graft resorption, infection, and limited donor site options). For centuries, surgeons have experimented with metals, ceramics, plastics, and later, resorbable polymers. This paper provides a tour of the materials that have been used and experimented with throughout the history of alloplastic cranioplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE20
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alloplastic materials
  • Cranioplasty
  • History

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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