Cells and Materials


Porous hydroxyapatite ceramics combined with rat marrow cells were implanted subcutaneously in the back of syngeneic Fischer rats . Fluorochrome-labeling (calcein, tetracycline) was performed post-operatively and the ceramics were harvested 4 weeks after implantation. Undecalcified thin sections of the implants were observed under light microscopy or fluoromicroscopy and the corresponding areas were also analyzed in a scanning electron microscope connected to an electron probe microanalyzer (SEM-EPMA). Many pore areas of the ceramics showed bone and osteoid formation together with active osteoblasts. The bone formation began directly on the surface of the ceramic and proceeded in a centripetal direction towards the center of the pores. SEM-EPMA analysis revealed continuous high levels of calcium and phosphorus in bone/ceramic interface and a gradual decrease of these levels in the osteoid region. These results indicate that the interaction between osteoblasts and ceramic surface resulted in bone formation.