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Biomaterials. 1996 Jan;17(1):31-5.

Osteoinduction in porous hydroxyapatite implanted in heterotopic sites of different animal models.

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Bone Research Laboratory, Medical Research Council/University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Previous studies have demonstrated the induction of bone in coral-derived porous hydroxyapatite when implanted intramuscularly in baboons. This hydroxyapatite-induced bone differentiation model was used to study the effect of different animal species on heterotopic bone formation. Porous hydroxyapatite, obtained after hydrothermal conversion of the calcium carbonate exoskeleton of coral (genus Goniopora), was implanted in the rectus abdominis of adult rabbits, dogs and baboons (Papio ursinus). Specimens were harvested on day 90 after implantation and subjected to histological and histomorphometrical analysis. Minimal amounts of bone formed in hydroxyapatite specimens harvested from rabbits and dogs. Substantial bone differentiation did occur, however, in hydroxyapatite specimens harvested from the rectus abdominis of the baboons. In primates, the porous hydroxyapatite, as used in this study, may act as a solid matrix for adsorption, storage and controlled release of circulating or locally produced bone morphogenetic proteins, which locally initiate bone formation. The results of this study on heterotopic bone formation in porous hydroxyapatite underscore the importance of primate models in biomaterial research, which should be exploited for the formulation of porous substrata with intrinsic osteoinductive activity.

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