Background: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been shown to play an important role in bone formation during development and wound healing. Despite there being good prospects for BMP applications, an ideal carrier system for BMPs has yet to be determined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility of a fibrin -fibronectin sealing system (FFSS) as a carrier for recombinant human BMP-4 (rhBMP-4) and to evaluate the genuine osteoconductive potential of the FFSS in a rat calvarial defect model. Methods: An 8-mm, calvarial, critical-size osteotomy defect was created in each of 30 male Sprague-Dawley rats. Three groups of 10 animals each received rhBMP-4 (0.025 mg/ml) in the FFSS, FFSS control, or sham-surgery control. The groups were evaluated using histologic and histometric parameters following 2- and 8-week healing intervals (five animals per group per healing interval). Results: Surgical implantation of rhBMP-4/FFSS resulted in enhanced local bone formation at 2 and 8 weeks. New bone formation was also evident in the FFSS control; however, the amount of defect closure, new bone area, and bone density was significantly greater in the rhBMP-4/FFSS group (P<0.05). At 8 weeks, the quantity of the new bone was greater than that observed at 2 weeks, and the specimens showed a more advanced stage of remodeling and consolidation in both groups (P<0.05). Only very limited bone formation was observed in the sham-surgery control. Conclusion: The results of the present study indicated that the FFSS has osteoconductive potential and may be employed as a carrier for BMPs.
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