Tricalcium phosphate and osteogenin: A bioactive onlay bone graft substitute

A. S. Breitbart, D. A. Staffenberg, C. H M Thorne, P. M. Glat, N. S. Cunningham, A Hari Reddi, J. Ricci, G. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The disadvantages of autogenous bone grafts has prompted a search for a dependable onlay bone graft substitute. A combination of tricalcium phosphate, a resorbable ceramic, and osteogenin, an osteoinductive protein, was evaluated as an onlay bone graft substitute in a rabbit calvarial model. Twenty-eight tricalcium phosphate implants (15 mm diameter x 5 mm; pore size, 100-200 μm) were divided into experimental and control groups and placed on the frontal bone of 14 adult New Zealand White rabbits. In the experimental animals, 185 μg of osteogenin was added to each implant. In the control animals, the implants were placed untreated. Implants were harvested at intervals of 1, 3, and 6 months, and evaluated using hematoxylin and eosin histology, microradiography, and histomorphometric scanning electron microscope backscatter image analysis. At 1 month there was minimal bone ingrowth and little tricalcium phosphate resorption in both the osteogenin- treated and control implants. At 3 months, both the osteogenin-treated and control implants showed a modest increase in bone ingrowth (8.85 percent versus 5.87 percent) and decrease in tricalcium phosphate (32.86) percent versus 37.08 percent). At 6 months, however, the osteogenin-treated implants showed a statistically significant increase in bone ingrowth (22.33 percent versus 6.96 percent; p = 0.000) and decrease in tricalcium phosphate (27.25 percent versus 37.80 percent; p = 0.004) compared with the control implants. The bone within the control implants was mostly woven at 6 months, whereas the osteogenin-treated implants contained predominantly mature lamellar bone with well-differentiated marrow. All implants maintained their original volume at each time interval studied. The tricalcium phosphate/osteogenin composite, having the advantage of maintaining its volume and being replaced by new bone as the tricalcium phosphate resorbs, may be applicable clinically as an onlay bone graft substitute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-708
Number of pages10
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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