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Effect of a new bioactive fibrous glassy scaffold on bone repair


Researchers have investigated several therapeutic approaches to treat non-union fractures. Among these, bioactive glasses and glass ceramics have been widely used as grafts. This class of biomaterial has the ability to integrate with living bone. Nevertheless, bioglass and bioactive materials have been used mainly as powder and blocks, compromising the filling of irregular bone defects. Considering this matter, our research group has developed a new bioactive glass composition that can originate malleable fibers, which can offer a more suitable material to be used as bone graft substitutes. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the morphological structure (via scanning electron microscope) of these fibers upon incubation in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) after 1, 7 and 14 days and, also, evaluate the in vivo tissue response to the new biomaterial using implantation in rat tibial defects. The histopathological, immunohistochemistry and biomechanical analyzes after 15, 30 and 60 days of implantation were performed to investigate the effects of the material on bone repair. The PBS incubation indicated that the fibers of the glassy scaffold degraded over time. The histological analysis revealed a progressive degradation of the material with increasing implantation time and also its substitution by granulation tissue and woven bone. Histomorphometry showed a higher amount of newly formed bone area in the control group (CG) compared to the biomaterial group (BG) 15 days post-surgery. After 30 and 60 days, CG and BG showed a similar amount of newly formed bone. The novel biomaterial enhanced the expression of RUNX-2 and RANK-L, and also improved the mechanical properties of the tibial callus at day 15 after surgery. These results indicated a promising use of the new biomaterial for bone engineering. However, further long-term studies should be carried out to provide additional information concerning the material degradation in the later stages and the bone regeneration induced by the fibrous material.

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The authors are indebted to CAPES, CNPq and FAPESP, São Paulo Research Funding Agency, Grant Number 2013/07793-6 (CeRTEV - Center for Technology, Research and Education in Glass) for funding this research work and PhD students Grant 2011/22937-9.

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Correspondence to P. R. Gabbai-Armelin.

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Gabbai-Armelin, P.R., Souza, M.T., Kido, H.W. et al. Effect of a new bioactive fibrous glassy scaffold on bone repair. J Mater Sci: Mater Med 26, 177 (2015).

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  • Bone Defect
  • Granulation Tissue
  • Bioactive Glass
  • Fibrous Scaffold
  • Synthetic Bone Substitute