Marine collagen scaffolds and photobiomodulation on bone healing process in a model of calvaria defects

J Bone Miner Metab. 2020 Sep;38(5):639-647. doi: 10.1007/s00774-020-01102-4. Epub 2020 Apr 18.


Introduction: Collagen from marine esponges has been used as a promising material for tissue engineering proposals. Similarly, photobiomodulation (PBM) is able of modulating inflammatory processes after an injury, accelerating soft and hard tissue healing and stimulating neoangiogenesis. However, the effects of the associated treatments on bone tissue healing have not been studied yet. In this context, the present study aimed to evaluate the biological temporal modifications (using two experimental periods) of marine sponge collagen or sponging (SPG) based scaffold and PBM on newly formed bone using a calvaria bone defect model.

Material and methods: Wistar rats were distributed into two groups: SPG or SPG/PBM and euthanized into two different experimental periods (15 and 45 days post-surgery). A cranial critical bone defect was used to evaluate the effects of the treatments. Histology, histomorfometry and immunohistological analysis were performed.

Results: Histological findings demonstrated that SPG/PBM-treated animals, 45 days post-surgery, demonstrated a higher amount of connective and newly formed bone tissue at the region of the defect compared to CG. Notwithstanding, no difference among groups were observed in the histomorphometry. Interestingly, for both anti-transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) immunostaining, higher values for SPG/PBM, at 45 days post-surgery could be observed.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that the associated treatment can be considered as a promising therapeutical intervention.

Keywords: Biomaterials; Bone healing; Collagen; Histomorphometry; Marine sponges; Photobiomodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquatic Organisms / chemistry*
  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skull / drug effects
  • Skull / pathology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Collagen