Tissue engineering has become a new approach for repairing bony defects. Highly porous osteoconductive scaffolds perform the important role for the success of bone regeneration. By biomimetic strategy, apatite-coated porous biomaterial based on silk fibroin scaffolds (SS) might provide an enhanced osteogenic environment for bone-related outcomes. To assess the effects of apatite-coated silk fibroin (mSS) biomaterials for bone healing as a tissue engineered bony scaffold, we explored a tissue engineered bony graft using mSS seeded with osteogenically induced autologous bone marrow stromal cells (bMSCs) to repair inferior mandibular border defects in a canine model. The results were compared with those treated with bMSCs/SS constructs, mSS alone, SS alone, autologous mandibular grafts and untreated blank defects. According to radiographic and histological examination, new bone formation was observed from 4 weeks post-operation, and the defect site was completely repaired after 12 months for the bMSCs/mSS group. In the bMSCs/SS group, new bone formation was observed with more residual silk scaffold remaining at the center of the defect compared with the bMSCs/mSS group. The engineered bone with bMSCs/mSS achieved satisfactory bone mineral densities (BMD) at 12 months post-operation close to those of normal mandible (p > 0.05). The quantities of newly formed bone area for the bMSCs/mSS group was higher than the bMSCs/SS group (p < 0.01), but no significant differences were found when compared with the autograft group (p > 0.05). In contrast, bony defects remained in the center with undegraded silk fibroin scaffold and fibrous connective tissue, and new bone only formed at the periphery in the groups treated with mSS or SS alone. The results suggested that apatite-coated silk fibroin scaffolds combined with bMSCs could be successfully used to repair mandibular critical size border defects and the premineralization of these porous silk fibroin protein scaffolds provided an increased osteoconductive environment for bMSCs to regenerate sufficient new bone tissue. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.