University of Oulu

Native bovine bone morphogenetic protein in the healing of segmental long bone defects

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Author: Tuominen, Tapio1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-09-07
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium 4 of the University Hospital of Oulu, on September 21st, 2001, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Ilkka Arnala
Docent Esa Partio


A new animal model was developed to evaluate the effect of bovine native bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) on the healing of segmental, critical-sized bone defects. Laboratory-bred adult beagle dogs were used in the study. A 2 cm corticoperiosteal defect was created using an oscillating saw in mid-ulna, and the defect was treated with bone grafts and implants fixed by an intramedullary Kirschner wire through predrilled holes in the middle of the implant. Plate and screw fixation was also used in some groups. Coral, hydroxyapatite and demineralized xenograft bone were placed in the defects with or without BMP. Autografts and allografts were used as controls. The BMP was extracted from bovine diaphyseal bone.

The follow-up period was 36 weeks. Radiographs were taken at regular intervals during the follow-up period, and bone formation and bone union were evaluated. The radiographs were digitized, and callus was measured and CT scans obtained to define bone density. At the end of the study, the bones were harvested and tested mechanically in a torsion machine until failure. After mechanical testing, the bones were reconstructed and histological sections were made.

With autograft and allograft bone grafts, healing was nearly complete. Hydroxyapatite and demineralized xenograft bone did not result in healing of the bone defect, while coral enhanced bone formation, but the healing was not comparable to autografts or allografts. Hydroxyapatite implants did not resorb during the 36 weeks of follow-up to enhance bone healing, and there was a fibrous capsule around the hydroxyapatite implants in histology. Xenograft bone was resorbed, and very little bone formation and extensive fibrosis were seen at the implant site. Coral was resorbed and gradually replaced by new bone, but did not heal the defect completely. With every implant, added BMP had a positive effect on healing as evaluated either radiographically, mechanically or histologically. Coral was the most optimal carrier material for BMP among the materials tested in this study.

The animal model seems to be suitable for studying the healing of bone defects, as all the animals were physically active from the first postoperative day and did not seem to have problems with motion during the follow-up period. Intramedullary fixation lacks rotational stability, which may have a negative effect on healing. The bones fixed with a plate and screws showed better scores in radiographs and were mechanically stronger, although the study groups were too small to allow definitive conclusions. As a conclusion, none of the transplants or implants were equally efficient as cortical autograft in healing segmental ulnar defects. BMP did not enhance the poor capacity of hydroxyapatite and xenograft bone to heal the bone defect. According to the present findings, the composite implant consisting of coral and BMP seemed to be the best of the composite implants tested.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-6478-9
ISBN Print: 951-42-6477-0
Issue: 641
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2001. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.