Purpose: To investigate alveolar bone regeneration after nacre implantation in comparison to β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) for the potential application to bone grafting.
Material and methods: The rod-shaped, 2 × 2 mm in diameter and length, implanted materials were prepared from nacre particles of the giant oyster (Pinctada maxima), and β-TCP (Chronos; Synthes, Switzerland) particles. Bilateral drilling procedures were performed in 10 male guinea pigs in the mandible. Eight animals were implanted with nacre and β-TCP rods on each side of the mandibles. Two animals were sham operated. The animals were sacrificed after 30 and 60 days during the healing period. Decalcified histological sections of the mandibles were stained with azan stain.
Results: Alveolar bone regeneration in surgically created defects was more effective in material-implanted groups than in the sham-operated group. The nacre-implanted group exhibited the highest new bone formation, followed by the β-TCP-implanted group and the sham-operated group, respectively. Large space filling with some fibrous tissue in central region of the defected site in β-TCP-implanted and sham-operated mandibles was noted.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate the feasibility of using nacre as an alternative bone graft material.