Dense biomaterial plays an important role in bone replacement. However, it fails to induce bone cell migration into graft material. In the present study, a novel bone graft substitute (BGS) consisting of porous gradient hydroxyapatite/zirconia composite (PGHC) and gelatin/chitosan slow‐release hydrogel containing bone morphogenetic protein 2 and bone mesenchymal stem cells was designed and prepared to repair lumbar vertebral defects. The morphological characteristics of the BGS evaluated by a scanning electron microscope showed that it had a three‐dimensional network structure with uniformly distributed chitosan microspheres on the surfaces of the graft material and the interior of the pores. Then, BGS (Group A), PGHC (Group B), or autologous bone (Group C) was implanted into lumbar vertebral body defects in a total of 24 healthy rhesus monkeys. After 8 and 16 weeks, anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the lumbar spine, microcomputed tomography, histomorphometry, biomechanical testing, and biochemical testing for bone matrix markers, including Type I collagen, osteocalcin, osteopontin, basic fibroblast growth factor, alkaline phosphatase, and vascular endothelial growth factor, were performed to examine the reparative efficacy of the BGS and PGHC. The BGS displayed excellent ability to repair the lumbar vertebral defect in rhesus monkeys. Radiography, microcomputed tomography scanning, and histomorphological characterization showed that the newly formed bone volume in the interior of the pores in the BGS was significantly higher than in the PGHC. The results of biomechanical testing indicated that the vertebral body compression strength of the PGHC implant was lower than the other implants. Reverse‐transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses showed that the expression of bone‐related proteins in the BGS implant was significantly higher than in the PGHC implant. The BGS displayed reparative effects similar to autologous bone. Therefore, BGS use in vertebral bone defect repair appears promising.
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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