The ability of marrow-derived osteoprogenitor cells to promote repair of critical-size tibial gaps upon autologous transplantation on a hydroxyapatite ceramic (HAC) carrier was tested in a sheep model. Conditions for in vitro expansion of sheep bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) were established and the osteogenic potential of the expanded cells was validated. Ectopic implantation of sheep BMSC in immunocompromised mice led to extensive bone formation. When used to repair tibial gaps in sheep, cell-loaded implants (n = 2) conducted a far more extensive bone formation than did cell-free HAC cylinders (n = 2) over a 2-month period. In cell-loaded implants, bone formation was found to occur both within the internal macropore space and around the HAC cylinder while in control cell-free implants, bone formation was limited mostly to the outer surface and was not observed in most of the inner pores. As tested in an indentation assay, the stiffness of the complex HAC-bone material was found to be higher in cell-loaded implants compared to controls. Our pilot study on a limited number of large-sized animals suggests that the use of autologous BMSC in conjunction with HAC-based carriers results in faster bone repair compared to HAC alone. Potentially this combination could be used clinically in the treatment of extensive long bone defects.
Autologous bone marrow stromal cells loaded onto porous hydroxyapatite ceramic accelerate bone repair in critical size defects of sheep long bones / Kon, E; Muraglia, A; Corsi, Alessandro; Bianco, Paolo; Marcacci, M; Martin, I; Boyde, A; Ruspantini, I; Chistolini, P; Rocca, M; Giardino, R; Cancedda, R; Quarto, R.. - In: JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH. - ISSN 0021-9304. - 49:(2000), pp. 328-337. [10.1002/(SICI)1097-4636(20000305)49:3<328::AID-JBM5>3.0.CO;2-Q]