Bone graft procedures typically require surgeons to harvest bone from a second site on a given patient (Autograft) before repairing a bone defect. However, this results in increased surgical time, excessive blood loss and a significant increase in pain. In this context a synthetic bone graft with excellent histocompatibility, built in antibacterial efficacy and the ability to regenerate healthy tissue in place of diseased tissue would be a significant step forward relative to current state of the art philosophies. We developed a range of calcium-strontium-zinc-silicate glass-based bone grafts and characterized their structure and physical properties, then evaluated their in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo biocompatibility using standardized models from the literature. A graft (designated BT109) of composition 0.28SrO/0.32ZnO/0.40 SiO2 (mol fraction) was the best performing formulation in vitro shown to induce extremely mild cytopathic effects (cell viability up to 95%) in comparison with the commercially available bone graft Novabone® (cell viability of up to 72%). Supplementary to this, the grafts were examined using the standard rat femur healing model on healthy Wister rats. All grafts were shown to be equally well tolerated in bone tissue and new bone was seen in close apposition to implanted particles with no evidence of an inflammatory response within bone. Complimentary to this BT109 was implanted into the femurs of ovariectomized rats to monitor the response of osteoporotic tissue to the bone grafts. The results from this experiment indicate that the novel grafts perform equally well in osteoporotic tissue as in healthy tissue, which is encouraging given that bone response to implants is usually diminished in ovariectomized rats. In conclusion these materials exhibit significant potential as synthetic bone grafts to warrant further investigation and optimisation. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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01 Jan 2009

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