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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Initial bone matrix formation at the hydroxyapatite interface in vivo.

Dense, sintered, slip-cast hydroxyapatite rods were implanted transfemorally in young adult rats. The femora were excised after 2 and 4 weeks and, following fixation, either embedded in methyl methacrylate for light microscopy, decalcified and prepared for transmission electron microscopy, or freeze fractured in liquid nitrogen for scanning electron microscopic analysis. The latter was performed on the two tissue fragments that remained after freeze fracturing, from which the first contained the implants and the second comprised tissue that had been immediately adjacent to the hydroxyapatite rods. Undecalcified light microscopic sections revealed extensive bone tissue formation around and in contact with the hydroxyapatite rods. The initial bone matrix apposed to the implant surface, as demonstrated with scanning electron microscopy, was either composed of globular deposits or an organized network of collagen fibers. The deposits, which ranged in size from 0.1-1.1 microns, fused to form a cement-like matrix to which collagen fibers were attached. Degradation of the hydroxyapatite surface resulted in the presence of unidirectionally aligned crystallites, with which the newly formed bone matrix was closely associated. Ultrastructural analysis of the bone-hydroxyapatite interface with transmission electron microscopy revealed a 50-600-nm-wide collagen-free granular zone, comprising one or more 40-100-nm-thick electron-dense layer(s). These structural arrangements most probably partially represent the globular deposits and proteinaceous material adsorbed onto and partially in the degrading hydroxyapatite surface. Although the latter change in surface topography may have enhanced bonding of the cement-like matrix to the hydroxyapatite, the cause for this change in topography and the type of bond formed are, at present, unknown.[1]


  1. Initial bone matrix formation at the hydroxyapatite interface in vivo. de Bruijn, J.D., van Blitterswijk, C.A., Davies, J.E. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. (1995) [Pubmed]
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