Heterotopic bone formation around vessels: pilot study of a new animal model

Biores Open Access. 2013 Aug;2(4):266-72. doi: 10.1089/biores.2013.0025.


To achieve an easily established, safe, and reproducible animal model for the study of heterotopic bone formation around vessels, a small animal series using New Zealand White rabbits was performed. Three different dosages of recombinant human bone morphogenic protein (rhBMP-2) carried by fibrin matrix were tested. A guided tissue regeneration (GTR) membrane sheet was formed into a tube and allowed to harden; it served both to maintain the space around the vessel bundle and to separate the fibrin matrix with rhBMP-2 from skeletal muscle. Wrapped around the femoral vessel bundle and fixed in place, the tube was filled with the fibrin matrix containing rhBMP-2. The surgical site was closed in layers, and the postoperative healing was uneventful. All animals resumed their full preoperative daily activities 3-4 days after the operation. No adverse events such as wound dehiscence or infection occurred, and all animals could be sacrified at the scheduled date. Micro-computed tomography and histological investigations showed heterotopic bone formation around the vessel bundle in the medium- and high-dosage rhBMP-2 groups. An easy, safe, and reproducible animal model that allows the study of heterotopic bone formation around vessels was successfully established.

Keywords: biomaterials; growth factor; tissue engineering.