Treatment of large bone defects is currently performed using mainly autograft or allograft bone. There are important drawbacks to bone grafting, such as limited availability, donor site morbidity in the case of autograft and inferior performance of allografts. Therefore, there is a great need for a suitable bone graft substitute. In order to evaluate efficiently newly developed biomaterials and factors intended for orthopaedic surgery, the bone chamber is a very suitable model. To allow longitudinal investigation of bone growth with μCT, a new bone chamber made of radiolucent polyether ether ketone (PEEK) was developed and studied for its feasibility. Therefore, PEEK bone chambers were placed on rat tibiae, and filled with vehicle (Matrigel without growth factors, negative controls), with bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2, positive controls), or a mix of growth factors combining BMP-2, vascular endothelial growth factor and the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor 1α, all laden on gelatin microspheres for controlled release (combined growth factors). Growth factor presence led to a significant increase in bone formation after 8 weeks, which subsided after 12 weeks, underlining the importance of longitudinal analysis. We conclude that the PEEK-bone chamber is a suitable translational animal model to assess orthotopic bone formation in a longitudinal manner.

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European Cells & Materials
Department of Orthopaedics

Poldervaart, M. T., van der Stok, J., de Haas, M., ‘T Hart, M. C., Öner, F. C., Dhert, W., … Alblas, J. (2015). Growth factor-induced osteogenesis in a novel radiolucent bone chamber. European Cells & Materials, 29, 35–41. Retrieved from