It has been shown earlier that it is possible to improve bone healing, to regenerate previously existing bone, and to create new bone by means of an osteopromotive membrane technique. The present study addresses the question of whether it is possible to combine this technique with a locally applied factor, stimulatory to osteogenesis. Circular transosseous ‘critical size’ defects in mandibles of rats were either implanted with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein type 2 (rhBMP-2) or were left empty; half the number of implanted and half the number of empty defects were covered with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) membrane (GORE-TEX®). Results were evaluated after 12 and 24 days of healing by a histomorphological scoring system. Implantation of rhBMP-2 alone resulted in bony bridging of the defect after only 12 days, but also in voluminous amounts of new bone outside the original defect area. When rhBMP-2 was combined with membrane, newly formed woven bone bridged the defect and the bone contour was maintained by the membrane. The combined treatment with membrane and rhBMP-2 demonstrated a significantly better bone healing than with e-PTFE membrane alone at both 12 days and 24 days of healing. It was concluded that rhBMP-2 has a strong osteoinductive potential and, in contrast to what was found earlier with other types of BMP preparations, this potential was retained when combining the rhBMP-2 with the osteopromotive membrane technique, yielding better bone healing than with the membrane alone, and at the same time maintaining the bone contour. This combination may have important therapeutic applications for osseous healing and in reconstructive surgery. The study also shows the importance of an appropriate carrier material when applying stimulatory substances to enhance bone formation in combination with a membrane.
Bone developmentBone morphogenetic proteinArtificial membranePolytetrafluoroethyleneRats