Objective: The number of diabetic patients in need of medical treatment is growing steadily. Therefore, a diabetic animal model with high degree of similarities with humans, which is suitable for the systematic evaluation of biomaterials and medical devices, is needed.
Materials and methods: Twenty domestic pigs were used for the study. Fifteen received Streptozotocin (STZ) to induce diabetes mellitus. Internal parameters were measured and bone as well as soft tissues biopsies were taken after 0, 6 and 12 months and evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively by means of scanning electronic microscopy, light microscopy and microradiography.
Results: The results of the clinical internal parameters, determined by the American Diabetes Association for the definition of diabetes mellitus could be fulfilled. Pathological changes of the skin vasculatures were already visible after 6 months with a significant wall thickening in the diabetic group. The bone mineralization was lower in the diabetic group after 6 months and with a significant difference after 12 months.
Conclusion: From the present results, it can be concluded that a STZ dosage of 90 mg/kg body weight in the domestic pig is suitable for the induction of an apparent diabetes, leading to histolopathological changes in the hard and soft tissues already after 6 months. The high degree of similarities with humans makes it an interesting diabetic animal model for biomaterial research in a compromised animal model.