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Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2013 Aug;15(4):481-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1708-8208.2012.00440.x. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Impact of bone harvesting techniques on cell viability and the release of growth factors of autografts.

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Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



Autogenous bone grafts obtained by different harvesting techniques behave differently during the process of graft consolidation; the underlying reasons are however not fully understood. One theory is that harvesting techniques have an impact on the number and activity of the transplanted cells which contribute to the process of graft consolidation.


To test this assumption, porcine bone grafts were harvested with four different surgical procedures: bone mill, piezosurgery, bone drilling (bone slurry), and bone scraper. After determining cell viability, the release of molecules affecting bone formation and resorption was assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunoassay. The mitogenic and osteogenic activity of the conditioned media was evaluated in a bioassay with isolated bone cells.


Cell viability and the release of molecules affecting bone formation were higher in samples harvested by bone mill and bone scraper when compared with samples prepared by bone drilling and piezosurgery. The harvesting procedure also affected gene expression, for example, bone mill and bone scraper samples revealed significantly higher expression of growth factors such as bone morphogenetic protein-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor compared with the two other modalities. Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand expression was lowest in bone scraper samples.


These data can provide a scientific basis to better understand the impact of harvesting techniques on the number and activity of transplanted cells, which might contribute to the therapeutic outcome of the augmentation procedure.


autogenous bone; bone dust; bone graft; bone mill; bone particles; bone scraper; bone slurry; osteocyte; osteoinduction; piezosurgery

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