Nanophase bone substitute for craniofacial load bearing application: Pilot study in the rodent

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Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials


An exploratory pilot study shows that a rodent mandibular defect model is useful in determining the biological response to a nanophase collagen/apatite composite designed as a biomimetic load-bearing bone substitute. Using a critical size defect, eight groups of rats (n = 3) were implanted with four renditions of the nanophase bone substitute (NBS) biomaterial. Each rendition was tested with and without recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2). NBS biomaterial renditions were: baseline, hyper-densified, d-ribose crosslinked, and d-ribose crosslinked and hyper-densified. Biological outcomes were assessed surgically, radiologically, and histologically. With the limited power available due to the small N's involved, some interesting hypotheses were generated that will be more fully investigated in future studies. BMP2 loaded NBS, when uncrosslinked, resulted in robust bone formation in the entire defect volume (regardless of porosity). Unloaded NBS were well tolerated but did not cause significant new bone formation in the defect volume. Densification alone had little effect on in vivo performance. Crosslinking thwarted implant uptake of BMP2 and resulted in fibrous encapsulation. It is concluded that the nanophase bone substitute is well tolerated in this bone defect model. When loaded with BMP2, implantation resulted in complete bony healing and defect closure with implant density (porosity) having little effect on bone healing or remodeling. Without BMP2 the biomaterial did not result in defect closure. Crosslinking, necessary to increase mechanical properties in an aqueous environment, disrupts osteointegration and BMP2 uptake. Alternate implant fabrication strategies will be necessary to achieve an improved balance between material strength and osteointegration. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 106B: 520-532, 2018.

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