Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 9, pp 829–836 | Cite as

Testing bone substitutes in a small animal model of revision arthroplasty

  • S. A. Clarke
  • R. A. Brooks
  • N. Rushton


This study evaluated a modification of the rat-pin model to enable testing of bone substitute materials. The model was characterized using the ceramic, β-tricalcium phosphate (βTCP) as a filler. A 1 mm wide, 3.6 mm deep defect was created around a stainless steel (SS) implant in the proximal tibia of a rat. This defect was filled with a ceramic powder. Large particles (90–312μm) of βTCP were mixed with Gelfoam® to form a paste which was then molded around the proximal end of either an uncoated SS pin or a pin coated with hydroxyapatite (HA). The pin with its ceramic collar was then implanted into the proximal tibia of 16 male Sprague Dawley rats. Two animals with coated implants and two with uncoated implants were sacrificed at 3, 6, 14 and 26 weeks. Longitudinal sections of each tibia were stained with toluidine blue and labeled for tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). There was initial fibrous tissue interposition around the implants which was completely remodeled around the HA coated pins but which persisted in apposition to the SS pins. The remodeling process peaked at 3 weeks around the HA coated pins and at 6 weeks around the uncoated implants. There was little remodeling around either implant by 26 weeks. There was considerable residual βTCP present which was well tolerated as the particles were often encased in bone. The model has several characteristics of revision arthroplasty and the results demonstrate the suitability of this model for testing bone substitutes.


Hydroxyapatite Toluidine Blue Proximal Tibia Bone Substitute Tartrate Resistant Acid Phosphatase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Clarke
    • 1
  • R. A. Brooks
    • 1
  • N. Rushton
    • 1
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Research UnitUniversity of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's HospitalCambridgeUK

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