Biomolecular strategies of bone augmentation in spinal surgery

Trends Mol Med. 2011 Apr;17(4):215-22. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2010.12.002. Epub 2010 Dec 31.


Autologous bone grafts and allografts are the most accepted procedures for achieving spinal fusion. Recently, breakthroughs in understanding bone biology have led to the development of novel approaches to address the clinical problem of bone regeneration in an unfavorable environment, while bypassing the drawbacks of traditional treatments, including limited availability, donor site morbidity, risk of disease transmission and reduced osteogenicity. These approaches have also been studied for their effectiveness in reaching successful spinal fusion. This review focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms explaining the rationale behind these methods, including bone marrow aspirate and mesenchymal stem cells, platelet-rich plasma, bone morphogenetic proteins and gene therapy, which have opened a promising perspective in the field of bone formation in spinal surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / metabolism
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spine / surgery*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins