The efficacy of a nanosynthetic bone graft substitute as a bone graft extender in rabbit posterolateral fusion

Jordan C. Conway, Rema A. Oliver, Tian Wang, Daniel J. Wills, Joe Herbert, Tom Buckland, William R. Walsh, Iain R. Gibson* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT
Synthetic bone graft substitutes are commonly used in spinal fusion surgery. Preclinical data in a model of spinal fusion to support their efficacy is an important component in clinical adoption to understand how these materials provide a biological and mechanical role in spinal fusion.
PURPOSE To evaluate the in vivo response of a nanosynthetic silicated calcium phosphate putty (OstP) combined with autograft compared to autograft alone or a collagen-biphasic calcium phosphate putty (MasP) combined with autograft in a rabbit spinal fusion model.
STUDY DESIGN Efficacy of a nanosynthetic silicated calcium phosphate putty as an extender to autograft was studied in an experimental animal model of posterolateral spinal fusion at 6, 9, 12 and 26 weeks, compared to a predicate device. METHODS Skeletally mature female New Zealand White rabbits (70) underwent single level bilateral posterolateral intertransverse process lumbar fusion, using either autograft alone (AG), a nanosynthetic silicated calcium phosphate putty (OstP) combined with autograft (1:1), or a collagen-biphasic calcium phosphate putty (MasP) combined with autograft (1:1). Iliac crest autograft was harvested for each group, and a total of 2 cc of graft material was implanted in the posterolateral gutters per side. Fusion success was assessed at all time points by manual palpation, radiographic assessment, micro-CT and at 12 weeks only using non-destructive range of motion testing. Tissue response, bone formation and graft resorption were assessed by decalcified paraffin histology and by histomorphometry of PMMA embedded sections. RESULTS Assessment of fusion by manual palpation at the 12 week endpoint showed 7 out of 8 (87.5%) bilateral fusions in the OstP extender group, 4 out of 8 (50%) fusions in the MasP extender group, and 6 out of 8 (75%) fusions in the autograft alone group. Similar trends were observed with fusion scores of radiographic and micro-CT data. Histology showed a normal healing response in all groups, and increased bone formation in the OstP extender group at all timepoints compared to the MasP extender group. New bone formed directly on the OstP granule surface within the fusion mass while this was not a feature of the Collagen-Biphasic CaP material. After 26 weeks the OstP extender group exhibited 100% fusions (5 out of 5) by all measures, whereas the MasP extender group resulted in bilateral fusions in 3 out of 5 (60%), assessed by manual palpation, and fusion of only 20 and 0% by radiograph and micro-CT scoring, respectively. Histology at 26 weeks showed consistent bridging of bone between the transverse processes in the Ost P extender group, but this was not observed in the MasP extender group. CONCLUSIONS The nanosynthetic bone graft substituted studied here, used as an extender to autograft, showed a progression to fusion between 6 and 12 weeks that was similar to that observed with autograft alone, and showed excellent fusion outcomes, bone formation and graft resorption at 26 weeks.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE This preclinical study showed that the novel nanosynthetic silicated CaP putty, when combined with autograft, achieved equivalent fusion outcomes to autograft. The development of synthetic bone grafts that demonstrate efficacy in such models can eliminate the need for excessive autograft harvest and results from this preclinical study supports their effective use in spinal fusion surgery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Spine Journal
Early online date23 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2021

Keywords

  • posterolateral spinal fusion
  • rabbit
  • calcium phosphates
  • nano-scale morphology
  • silicate
  • silicon

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