Cells and Materials


The bone chamber implant (BCI) has allowed monitoring a healing bone defect as well as the effect of an eroding implant on the healing process. The BCI is a useful tool and intravital microscopy a valuable technique for obtaining quantitative data chronicling osseous wound healing. The physiological parameters that form the initial data base documenting healing are neo-osteogenesis and neo-angiogenesis. This review compares and characterizes osseous wound healing in a BCI loaded with an erodible copolymer, PLGA (polylactide-polyglycolide). To determine if a statistically significant deviation from normal healing had occurred, the results were compared with present and historical controls. In the BCI PLGA erosion was accompanied by a delay in the onset of neo-osteogenesis, as measured by trabecular apposition. Concurrently, neo-angiogenesis was both detained and retarded. The neo-angiogenesis delay was interpreted as a direct consequence of the neo-osteogenesis delay since the major part of the vasculature was carried by the apposing trabeculae. Angiogenesis inhibition is more difficult to interpret until data are further analyzed to determine if apposing trabeculae in the presence of eroding PLGA carry less vasculature.