Repair of Nasal Defects Using Collagen Gels Containing Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1

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Facial osseous defects are a common and challenging problem for the otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon. Current methods of repair including synthetic grafts, cadaveric material, and autologous tissue have drawbacks of foreign body reactions, infectious agent transmission, and the morbidity of a second surgical site. In the effort to develop an ideal technique for osseous reconstruction, a critical-size facial defect has previously been developed in the Sprague-Dawley rat. This model exhibits less than 10% healing by surface area over 6 months. A novel approach to osseous reconstruction is attempted using this model with type I collagen gel augmented with insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

Study Design:

Randomized controlled trial using a rodent model.


Twelve adult male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a surgical procedure to produce a critical-size nasal defect by removing the nasal bones with a cutting burr. Six animals were repaired with 300 μg of type I collagen gel. Six animals were repaired with 300 μg of type I collagen gel augmented with 3.0 μg of IGF-1. Thirty days later, the animals were examined after necropsy. Precise planimetry, radiodensitometric analysis, and histologic sectioning were performed.


All animals had complete coverage of this defect with a thin layer of bone. Radiodensitometric analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant (P < .037) increase in bone density in the collagen plus IGF-1 group compared with that of collagen only. In addition, histologic evaluation revealed increased bone density and thickness in the IGF-1 group.


Type I collagen gel augmented with IGF-1 results in a significant increase in healing of a nasal critical-size defect in a rodent model.

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