Osteogenic capacity of nanocrystalline bone cement in a weight-bearing defect at the ovine tibial metaphysis

Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:2883-9. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S29314. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


The synthetic material Nanobone(®) (hydroxyapatite nanocrystallines embedded in a porous silica gel matrix) was examined in vivo using a standardized bone defect model in the ovine tibial metaphysis. A standardized 6 × 12 × 24-mm bone defect was created below the articular surface of the medial tibia condyles on both hind legs of 18 adult sheep. The defect on the right side was filled with Nanobone(®), while the defect on the contralateral side was left empty. The tibial heads of six sheep were analyzed after 6, 12, and 26 weeks each. The histological and radiological analysis of the defect on the control side did not reveal any bone formation after the total of 26 weeks. In contrast, the microcomputed tomography analysis of the defect filled with Nanobone(®) showed a 55%, 72%, and 74% volume fraction of structures with bone density after 6, 12, and 26 weeks, respectively. Quantitative histomorphological analysis after 6, and 12 weeks revealed an osteoneogenesis of 22%, and 36%, respectively. Hematoxylin and eosin sections demonstrated multinucleated giant cells on the surface of the biomaterial and resorption lacunae, indicating osteoclastic resorptive activity. Nanobone(®) appears to be a highly potent bone substitute material with osteoconductive properties in a loaded large animal defect model, supporting the potential use of Nanobone(®) also in humans.

Keywords: biocompatibility; bone ingrowth; hydroxyapatite; osseointegration; osteoconduction.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Bone Cements / chemistry
  • Bone Cements / pharmacology*
  • Durapatite / chemistry
  • Durapatite / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Osseointegration / drug effects*
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Sheep
  • Tibia / drug effects*
  • Tibia / injuries*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • X-Ray Microtomography


  • Bone Cements
  • Durapatite