Properties of coralline hydroxyapatite and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane in the immature craniofacial skeleton

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999 Jan;103(1):20-6. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199901000-00005.


Although extensive research regarding the treatment of calvarial defects has been done in adult models, little is known about the response in the maturing skeleton. The role of coralline hydroxyapatite and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane in augmenting bone growth and repair of calvarial defects in a neonatal model is explored. Utilizing a 3-week-old neonatal swine model, bone growth into 28 calvarial defects was measured. After exposure of the calvaria in seven animals, four defects of 10 mm in diameter were created. In each animal, one defect was treated with a 10-mm disc of porous hydroxyapatite alone (Interpore 500, Interpore International), and a second defect was covered with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane (Gore-Tex OV-6) secured by four 3-mm microscrews (Luhr Microsystem, Howe-Medica Inc.). The third defect combined an implanted hydroxyapatite disc covered by an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane, whereas the fourth defect served as an untreated control. Histology and histomorphometry were performed on undecalcified specimens harvested at 6 weeks after surgery. In both hydroxyapatite groups, the bone growth into the inorganic matrix provided complete osseous union in all specimens, and the amount of fibrosis was significantly lower (p < 0.02) in comparison with the control. Unexpectedly, there was significant osteoclastic resorption of the hydroxyapatite matrix (35.1 percent decrease) with simultaneous bone deposition and remodeling. The addition of an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane covering the hydroxyapatite implant provided an insignificant advantage in bone growth (27.3 percent versus 28.3 percent, respectively). Finally, the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane alone afforded no qualitative advantage secondary to intrusion of brain and dura into the defect as well as displacement of the membrane inward during appositional growth, leading to incomplete healing of the defect with thinning of the surrounding cranial bone. Unique in this maturing model was morphologic evidence of complete union at the calvaria-hydroxyapatite interface in all specimens as well as active remodeling of the hydroxyapatite matrix. The results of this study suggest that porous hydroxyapatite may be a suitable bone substitute in maturing calvarial bone defects, achieving superior osseous integration and volumetric bone gain while undergoing concurrent resorption and remodeling.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Durapatite*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Osseointegration
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene*
  • Porosity
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Skull / growth & development
  • Skull / pathology
  • Skull / surgery*
  • Swine


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Durapatite