Developing a novel resorptive hydroxyapatite-based bone substitute for over-critical size defect reconstruction: physicochemical and biological characterization and proof of concept in segmental rabbit's ulna reconstruction

Biomed Tech (Berl). 2020 Aug 27;65(4):491-505. doi: 10.1515/bmt-2019-0218.


The aim of this study was to develop novel hydroxyapatite (HAP)-based bioactive bone replacement materials for segmental osteotomy reconstruction. Customized three-dimensional (3D) bone construct was manufactured from nanohydroxyapatite (nHAP) with poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) coating using 3D models derived from the computed tomography (CT) scanning of the rabbit's ulna and gradient 3D printing of the bone substitute mimicking the anatomical shape of the natural bone defect. Engineered construct revealed adequate micro-architectural design for successful bone regeneration having a total porosity of 64% and an average pore size of 256 μm. Radiography and micro-CT analysis depicted new bone apposition through the whole length of the reconstructed ulna with a small area of non-resorbed construct in the central area of defect. Histological analysis revealed new bone formation with both endochondral and endesmal type of ossification. Immunohistochemistry analysis depicted the presence of bone formation indicators - bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), osteocalcin (OCN) and osteopontin (OPN) within newly formed bone. Manufactured personalized construct acts as a "smart" responsive biomaterial capable of modulating the functionality and potential for the personalized bone reconstruction on a clinically relevant length scale.

Keywords: 3D printing; bone reconstruction; personalized medicine; tissue engineering.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biomimetics
  • Bone Regeneration / physiology*
  • Bone Substitutes / chemistry*
  • Durapatite / chemistry
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer / chemistry*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Rabbits
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Ulna / chemistry*
  • Ulna / drug effects


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Durapatite