Hydroxyapatite-based biomaterials versus autologous bone graft in spinal fusion: An in vivo animal study

Giovanni Barbanti Bròdano, Gianluca Giavaresi, Francesco Lolli, Francesca Salamanna, Annapaola Parrilli, Lucia Martini, Cristiana Griffoni, Tiziana Greggi, Elena Arcangeli, Daniele Pressato, Stefano Boriani, Milena Fini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Study Design: An in vivo study was designed to compare the efficacy of biomimetic magnesium-hydroxyapatite (MgHA) and of human demineralized bone matrix (HDBM), both dispersed in a mixture of biomimetic MgHA nanoparticles, with that of an autologous bone graft. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate 2 new bone substitutes as alternatives to a bone autograft for spinal fusion, determining their osteoinductive and osteoconductive properties, and their capacity of remodeling, using a large animal model. Summary of Background Data: Spinal fusion is a common surgical procedure and it is performed for different conditions. A successful fusion requires potentially osteogenic, osteoinductive, and osteoconductive biomaterials. Methods. A posterolateral spinal fusion model involved 18 sheep, bilaterally implanting test materials between the vertebral transverse processes. The animals were divided into 2 groups: 1 fusion level was treated with MgHA (group 1) or with HDBM-MgHA (group 2). The other fusion level received bone autografts in both groups. Results: Radiographical, histological, and microtomographic results indicated good osteointegration between the spinous process and the vertebral foramen for both materials. Histomorphometry revealed no significant differences between MgHA and autologous bone for all the parameters examined, whereas significantly lower values of bone volume were observed between HDBM-MgHA and autologous bone. Moreover, the normalization of the histomorphometric data with autologous bone revealed that MgHA showed a significantly higher value of bone volume and a lower value of trabecular number, more similar to autologous bone than HDBM-MgHA. Conclusion: The study showed that the use of MgHA in an ovine model of spinal fusion led to the deposition of new bone tissue without qualitative and quantitative differences with respect to new bone formed with autologous bone, whereas the HDBM-MgHA led to a reduced deposition of newly formed bone tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E661-E668
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Autograft
  • Autologous bone
  • Biomaterial
  • Demineralized bone matrix
  • Magnesium-hydroxyapatite
  • Osteoconduction
  • Osteoinduction
  • Osteointegration
  • Spinal fusion
  • Substitute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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