Synthetic octacalcium phosphate (OCP) has been shown to enhance bone formation and to biodegrade if implanted into bone defects. Here, we hypothesized that an OCP-atelocollagen complex (OCP/Col) is biodegradable and can induce bone formation in a thickness-dependent manner when implanted into the calvaria. OCP/Col disks (diameter, 9 mm; thickness, 1 or 3 mm) were implanted into a subperiosteal pocket in the calvaria of 12-week-old Wistar rats for 4, 8, and 12 weeks and subsequent bone formation was monitored. X-ray diffraction analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that OCP in the OCP/Col implants was converted into a carbonate-rich apatite after 4 weeks. Although thinner disks tended to be replaced by new bone, thicker disks were progressively resorbed by osteoclast-like cells until 12 weeks, possibly via the increased mechanical load in the subperiosteal pocket. Therefore, OCP/Col can increase appositional intramembranous bone formation if the appropriate size of the implant is applied.
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