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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Guided bone tissue regeneration using a hollow calcium phosphate based implant in a critical size rabbit radius defect

Torbjorn, Mellgren; Amela, Trbakovic; Andreas, Thor; Stina, Ekman; Cecilia, Ley; Caroline, Ohman-Magi; Petra, Hammarstrom Johansson; Marianne, Jensen-Waern; Patricia, Hedenqvist


Long bone fractures are common and sometimes difficult to treat. Autologous bone (AB), bovine bone and calcium phosphates are used to stimulate bone growth with varying results. In the present study, a calcium phosphate cement (CPC) that previously showed promising grafting capabilities was evaluated for the first time in a long bone defect. A radius defect of 20 mm was created in 20 rabbits. The defect was filled by either a hollow CPC implant that had been manufactured as a replica of a rabbit radius through indirect 3D printing, or by particulate AB as control. Defect filling and bone formation was evaluated after 12 weeks by combining micro computed tomography (mu CT) and scoring of 3D images, together with histomorphometry and histology. The mu CT and histomorphometric evaluations showed a similar amount of filling of the defect (combining graft and bone) between the CPC and AB group, but the scoring of 3D images showed that the filling in the CPC group was significantly larger. Histologically the AB graft could not be distinguished from the new bone. The AB treated defects were found to be composed of more bone than the CPC group, including reorganised cancellous and cortical bone. Both the CPC and AB material was associated with new bone formation, also in the middle of the defect, which could result in closing of the otherwise critically sized gap. This study shows the potential for an indirectly 3D printed implant in guided bone regeneration in critically sized long bone defects.


3D printing; bone augmentation; bone substitute; long bone; in vivo

Published in

Biomedical Materials
2021, Volume: 16, number: 3, article number: 035018