Open Access Research

The progress of early phase bone healing using porous granules produced from calcium phosphate cement

P Jungbluth1, M Hakimi1*, JP Grassmann1, J Schneppendahl1, A Kessner1, M Sager2, AR Hakimi3, J Becker3, J Windolf1 and M Wild1

Author Affiliations

1 Heinrich Heine University Hospital Duesseldorf, Department of Trauma and Handsurgery, Duesseldorf, Germany

2 Heinrich Heine University Hospital Duesseldorf, Animal Research Institute, Duesseldorf, Germany

3 Heinrich Heine University Hospital Duesseldorf, Department of Oral Surgery, Duesseldorf, Germany

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European Journal of Medical Research 2010, 15:196-203  doi:10.1186/2047-783X-15-5-196

Published: 18 May 2010

Abstract

Objective

Bone grafting is a vital component in many surgical procedures to facilitate the repair of bone defects or fusions. Autologous bone has been the gold standard to date in spite of associated donor-site morbidity and the limited amount of available donor bone. The aim of this study was to investigate the progress of bone regeneration and material degradation of calcium phosphate granules (CPG) produced from a calcium phosphate self-setting cement powder compared to the use of autologous bone grafting in the treatment of "critical size defects" on load-bearing long bones of minipigs.

Methods

A critical size defect in the tibial metaphysis of 16 mini-pigs was filled either with autologous cancellous graft or with micro- and macroporous carbonated, apatic calcium phosphate granules (CPG) produced from a calcium phosphate self-setting cement powder. After 6 weeks, the specimens were assessed by X-ray and histological evaluation. The amount of new bone formation was analysed histomorphometrically.

Results

The semi-quantitative analysis of the radiological results showed a complete osseous bridging of the defect in three cases for the autograft group. In the same group five animals showed a beginning, but still incomplete bridging of the defect, whereas in the CPG group just two animals developed this. All other animals of the CPG group showed only a still discontinuous new bone formation. Altogether, radiologically a better osseous bridging was observed in the autograft group compared to the CPG group.

Histomorphometrical analysis after six weeks of healing revealed that the area of new bone was significantly greater in the autograft group concerning the central area of the defect zone (p < 0.001) as well as the cortical defect zone (p < 0.002). All defects showed new bone formation, but only in the autograft group defects regenerated entirely

Conclusions

Within the limits of the present study it could be demonstrated that autologous cancellous grafts lead to a significantly better bone regeneration compared to the application of calcium phosphate granules (CPG) produced from a calcium phosphate self-setting cement powder after 6 weeks. In the early phase of bone-healing, the sole application of CPG appears to be inferior to the autologous cancellous grafts in an in vivo critical size defect on load-bearing long bones of mini-pigs.

Keywords:
Calcium phosphate granules; Calcium phosphate cement; Bone healing; Bone defect; Animal model; Mini-pig