Bone healing and graft resorption of autograft, anorganic bovine bone and beta-tricalcium phosphate. A histologic and histomorphometric study in the mandibles of minipigs

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2006 Jun;17(3):237-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2005.01257.x.


Objective: The purpose was to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the bone formation and graft resorption of two different bone substitutes used in both orthopedic and oral surgery, with autogenous bone as a positive control.

Materials and methods: Three standardized bone defects were prepared in both mandibular angles of 12 adult minipigs. The defects were grafted with either autograft, anorganic bovine bone (ABB), or synthetic beta-tricalcium phosphate (beta-TCP). Sacrifice was performed after 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks for histologic and histomorphometric analysis.

Results: At 2 weeks, more new bone formation was seen in defects filled with autograft than with ABB (P approximately 0.0005) and beta-TCP (P approximately 0.002). After 4 weeks, there was no significant difference between beta-TCP and the two other materials. Defects grafted with ABB still exhibited less bone formation as compared with autograft (P approximately 0.004). At 8 weeks, more bone formation was observed in defects grafted with autograft (P approximately 0.003) and beta-TCP (P approximately 0.00004) than with ABB. No difference could be demonstrated between beta-TCP and autograft. beta-TCP resorbed almost completely over 8 weeks, whereas ABB remained stable.

Conclusion: Both bone substitutes seemed to decelerate bone regeneration in the early healing phase as compared with autograft. All defects ultimately regenerated with newly formed bone and a developing bone marrow. The grafting materials showed complete osseous integration. Both bone substitutes may have a place in reconstructive surgery where different clinical indications require differences in biodegradability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Bone Marrow / physiology
  • Bone Regeneration / physiology
  • Bone Resorption / pathology
  • Bone Resorption / physiopathology*
  • Bone Substitutes / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Transplantation / pathology
  • Bone Transplantation / physiology*
  • Calcium Phosphates / therapeutic use*
  • Cattle
  • Mandible / pathology
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Mandibular Diseases / pathology
  • Mandibular Diseases / surgery
  • Osseointegration / physiology
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • beta-tricalcium phosphate