Biological and molecular profile of fracture non-union tissue: current insights

J Cell Mol Med. 2015 Apr;19(4):685-713. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12532. Epub 2015 Mar 1.


Delayed bone healing and non-union occur in approximately 10% of long bone fractures. Despite intense investigations and progress in understanding the processes governing bone healing, the specific pathophysiological characteristics of the local microenvironment leading to non-union remain obscure. The clinical findings and radiographic features remain the two important landmarks of diagnosing non-unions and even when the diagnosis is established there is debate on the ideal timing and mode of intervention. In an attempt to understand better the pathophysiological processes involved in the development of fracture non-union, a number of studies have endeavoured to investigate the biological profile of tissue obtained from the non-union site and analyse any differences or similarities of tissue obtained from different types of non-unions. In the herein study, we present the existing evidence of the biological and molecular profile of fracture non-union tissue.

Keywords: bone morphogenic protein(s); human tissue; mesenchymal stem cell(s); non-union(s).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / genetics*
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Fracture Healing / genetics*
  • Fractures, Ununited / genetics*
  • Fractures, Ununited / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / genetics*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptome


  • Antigens, CD
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases