Calcification during bone healing in a standardised rat calvarial defect assessed by micro-CT and SEM-EDX

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study was designed to investigate the process of calcification during bone healing in a standardised rat calvarial bone defect model, measured by bone mineral density and the concentrations and distributions of calcium, phosphorus and carbon in the bone matrix.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A standard defect was made on the parietal bone of 12-week-old rats under anaesthesia. The rats were fixed in weeks 1, 2, 4 and 8, and the calvaria were resected and examined with microcomputed tomography, then frozen and sectioned for histology and analysed with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Parietal bone of 12-week-old control rats was processed similarly.

RESULTS:

The mineral density of healing bone increased with time. The healing bone became thicker and denser with time in histology. The distributions of Ca and P expanded over the bone matrix, whereas that of C became localised and complemented that of C and P. The Ca/P concentration ratio increased, whereas the C/Ca and C/P ratios decreased in the healing bone matrix.

CONCLUSION:

Healing bone is immaturely calcified initially and proceeds calcification gradually, that is, as the bone volume increases, mineral increases in density and matures in quality, while organic components decrease.

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