Arthrodesis of lumbar spine transverse processes using nacre in rabbit

J Bone Miner Res. 2001 Dec;16(12):2232-7. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2001.16.12.2232.


This study compares the osteogenic effects of nacre and autogenous bone grafts in a rabbit model of lumbar spine transverse process arthrodesis. A total of 15 rabbits were processed for arthrodesis between the fifth and sixth lumbar vertebrae using nacre powder mixed with autologous blood or autogenous iliac crest bone. Control rabbits were sham operated. Sample vertebrae were removed from the nacre-implanted rabbits at 2, 5, and 11 weeks postsurgery. The autogenous bone graft and sham-operated groups were processed for histological study 11 weeks postsurgery. The results for the three groups were compared at 11 weeks. The nacre-implanted samples taken at 2 weeks showed that the nacre was well tolerated by the host tissue. Endochondral bone formation was seen in the region of the dissolving nacre particles by 5 weeks. The newly formed bone formed a solid fusion between the transverse processes in one-third of the rabbits. There was still new bone formation at 11 weeks at the nacre implant site. Two-thirds of the rabbits had formed a solid fusion. Light microscopy also showed new bone formation 11 weeks after the autologous bone graft. All rabbits had a solid fusion. This initial study indicates that nacre can induce spinal fusion in an acceptable percentage of cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Carbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Ilium
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Rabbits
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Calcium Carbonate