Nanocomposite therapy as a more efficacious and less inflammatory alternative to bone morphogenetic protein-2 in a rodent arthrodesis model

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The use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) in spine fusion has led to concerns regarding a potential accompanying inflammatory response. This study evaluates a combination therapy (TrioMatrix®; Pioneer Surgical, Inc., Marquette, MI) comprised of a demineralized bone matrix (DBM), hydroxyapatite, and a nanofiber-based collagen scaffold in a rodent spine fusion model. Thirty-six athymic rats that underwent a posterolateral intertransverse spinal fusion were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatment groups: absorbable collagen sponge alone (ACS, negative control), 10 μg rhBMP-2 on ACS (positive control), TrioMatrix®, Grafton® (Osteotech, Inc., Eatontown, NJ), and DBX® (Synthes, Inc., West Chester, PA). Both TrioMatrix® and rhBMP-2-treated animals demonstrated 100% fusion rates as graded by manual palpation scores 8 weeks after implantation. This rate was significantly greater than those of the ACS, Grafton®, and DBX® groups. Notably, the use of TrioMatrix® as evaluated by microCT quantification led to a greater fusion mass volume when compared to all other groups, including the rhBMP-2 group. T2-weighted axial MRI images of the fusion bed demonstrated a significant host response associated with a large fluid collection with the use of rhBMP-2; this response was significantly reduced with the use of TrioMatrix®. Our results therefore demonstrate that a nanocomposite therapy represents a promising, cost-effective bone graft substitute that could be useful in spine fusions where BMP-2 is contraindicated. © 2011 Orthopaedic Research Society Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 29:1812–1819, 2011

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