A novel implantable device, the analytic bone implant, was used in order to establish a model for studies of bone-healing and the evaluation of factors that augment the process, such as transforming growth-factor beta (TGF-β). This device was implanted into the tibiae of four baboons. After healing, bone was removed from the center chamber. Recombinant human TGF β-1 was then delivered to the core of the device. After twenty-two days of healing, the device was disassembled and the newly formed bone was removed from the core of the implant for histomorphometric analysis. An analysis of the bone revealed a substantial effect of TGF-β on osteoblastic activity and proliferation compared with that seen in control and placebo groups. However, despite increased osteoblastic activity, trabecular bone volumes at twenty- two days were equivalent among the groups. The number of osteoclasts and the erosion of the surface were also increased, although not significantly so. Substantial endochondral formation of bone was seen in the supraperiosteal tissues directly over the implants that contained TGF-β but not over the implants in the control and placebo groups. These data demonstrate the utility of this bone-implant model for studies of bone-healing with minimally invasive methods. In addition, use of the device provided the first in vivo data on the effects of TGF-β at an intermediate (twenty-two-day) time-point in the healing process in a non-human primate. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study demonstrated the use of a device and model that allows assessment of bone- growth factors that may be beneficial for the augmentation of fracture repair, in the treatment of non-unions, and perhaps in the monitoring of patients who have metabolic bone disease, such as osteoporosis. It may also be useful in the development, screening, and testing of bone-active agents as they become available.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine