The Cuttlefish Backbone: A New Bone Xenograft Material?


Abstract: This experiment was conducted to determine the feasibility of cuttlefish backbone as a new xenograft in the treatment of bone defects and its therapeutic effectiveness. Following the administration of general anaesthesia to 20 one-year-old male New Zealand rabbits, traumatic defective areas (5 mm in diameter) were experimentally induced at the proximal and distal metaphyses of both femurs. These defective areas (n = 80) were randomly assigned to be filled with cuttlefish backbone, spongious bovine graft (SBG), tricalcium phosphate (TCP) and demineralised bone matrix (DBM) in a complete randomised design. At the end of the 30-day postoperative experimental period, bone defects filled with various graft materials were evaluated using macroscopic, radiographic, MRI, and scintigraphic methods and then the rabbits were subjected to euthanasia for histological examination. In response to the application of these graft materials, callus formation was observed in a similar fashion across all defective areas. Moreover, cuttlefish backbone ranked second after spongious bovine graft with respect to osteogenic capacity and the bone repairing process. In conclusion, our preliminary data on callus formation, osteogenic capacity and bone repairing suggest that cuttlefish backbone could be considered an alternative xenograft material in orthopaedic applications.

Keywords: Cuttlefish backbone, bone defect, bone xenograft

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