Osteoinductive potential of 4 commonly employed bone grafts

Clin Oral Investig. 2016 Nov;20(8):2259-2265. doi: 10.1007/s00784-016-1724-4. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Objectives: Guided bone regeneration (GBR) aims to predictably restore missing bone that has been lost due to trauma, periodontal disease or a variety of systemic conditions. Critical to this procedure is the ability of a bone grafting material to predictably serve as a 3-dimensional scaffold capable of inducing cell and bone tissue in-growth at the material surface. Although all bone grafts are osteoconductive to bone-forming osteoblasts, only a small number of commercially available bone grafts with FDA approval are osteoinductive including demineralized freeze-dried bone allographs (DFDBA) and scaffolds containing bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Recently, a class of synthetic bone grafts fabricated from biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) sintered at a low temperature have been shown to form ectopic bone formation in non-skeletal sites without the use of growth factors. Therefore, the present study aimed to compare the osteoinductive potential of this group of synthetic BCP alloplasts with autografts, allografts and xenografts.

Materials and methods: In the present study, 4 types of bone grafting materials including autogenous bone harvested with a bone mill, DFDBA (LifeNet, USA), a xenograft derived from bovine bone mineral (NBM, BioOss, Geistlich, Switzerland) and a novel synthetic biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP, Straumman, Switzerland) were implanted into intramuscular pouches of 24 rats and analysed histologically for their ability to form ectopic bone formation around grafting particles. A semi-quantitative osteoinductive score was used to quantify the osteoinductive ability of each bone graft.

Results: The results from the present study reveal that (1) autogenous bone resorbed rapidly in vivo, (2) the xenograft showed no potential to form ectopic bone formation and (3) both DFDBA and BCP were able to stimulate ectopic bone formation.

Conclusion: These studies demonstrate that these newly developed synthetic bone grafts have potential for inducing ectopic bone formation similar to DFDBA. Future clinical testing is necessary to reveal their bone-inducing properties in clinical scenarios including GBR procedures and in combination with implant dentistry.

Clinical relevance: Novel BCP scaffolds are able to induce ectopic bone formation without the use of osteoinductive growth factors such as BMP2 and thus demonstrate a large clinical possibility to further enhance bone formation for a variety of clinical procedures.

Keywords: Bone grafts; Natural bone mineral; Osteoinduction; Osteoinductive potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Allografts
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / pharmacology
  • Bone Substitutes / pharmacology*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods
  • Cattle
  • Freeze Drying
  • Hydroxyapatites / pharmacology*
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Minerals
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Surface Properties


  • Bio-Oss
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Hydroxyapatites
  • Minerals
  • hydroxyapatite-beta tricalcium phosphate