Reconstruction of critical-sized defects (CSDs) in bone shafts remains a major challenge in orthopedics. Honeycomb (HC) scaffolds are considered promising as their uniaxial channels bridge the amputation stumps of bones and promote the ingrowth of bone and blood vessels (BV) into the scaffolds. In this study, the ability of the HC scaffolds, composed of the bone mineral or carbonate apatite (CAp), was evaluated by reconstructing 10, 15, and 20 mm segmental defects in the rabbit ulnar shaft. Radiographic and μ-computed tomography evaluations showed that bony calluses were formed around the scaffolds at 4 weeks post-surgery in all defects, whereas no callus bridged in the ulna without scaffolds. At 12 weeks post-surgery, the scaffolds were connected to the host bone in 10 and 15 mm defects, while a slight gap remained between the scaffold and host bone in the 20 mm defect. New bone formation and scaffold resorption progressed over 12 weeks. Histological evaluations showed that mature bones (MB) and BV were already formed at the edges of the scaffolds at 4 weeks post-surgery in 10, 15, and 20 mm defects. In the central region of the scaffold, in the 10 mm defect, MB and BV were formed at 4 weeks post-surgery. In the 15 mm defect, although BV were formed, a few MB were formed. It is concluded that CAp HC scaffolds have good potential value for the reconstruction of CSDs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biochemistry, medical