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Investigation of bone allografts representing different steps of the bone bank procedure using the CAM-model

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Philipp Holzmann1, Eugenia Niculescu-Morzsa1, Hannes Zwickl1, Florian Halbwirth1, Monika Pichler2, Michael Matzner2, Florian Gottsauner-Wolf2 and Stefan Nehrer1
1 Center for Regenerative Medicine, Danube University Krems, Austria;
2 Cells+ Tissuebank Austria, Arthro Kinetics, Krems, Austria;
3 Department for Orthopedic Surgery, County Hospital Krems, Austria


Bone grafting is commonly used to treat large bone defects. Since autografts are limited and frequently associated with postoperative donor morbidity, allografts from bone banks are often used. However, vascularisation of the allograft is often impaired, resulting in inadequate bone healing and functional graft failure. In bone bank processing, tissue is stored at -80°C and subsequently subjected to a harsh multi-step cleaning and sterilisation procedure to prevent immune rejection or transmission of diseases.

To determine which step of this procedure diminishes the ability of allografts to induce or promote vascularisation, we used the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model to monitor the vascular reaction to sample bone chips representing the respective procedural steps. The CAM model monitors the angiogenic potency of xenogeneic and, hence, potentially immunogeneic materials (e.g. cells, tissues, tissue-engineered matrices). Due to the chicken embryo’s lack of a fully functional immune system, it provides test conditions that are analogous to immunologically incompetent mice and is a well-suited alternative to their use.

Bone chips were placed onto the CAM, and vascular reactions were quantified by image analysis after 48 h incubation. The vascular reaction was most pronounced to fresh, untreated bone chips that had been kept at +2°C prior to the experiment. Surprisingly, storage of bone samples at -80°C was sufficient to drastically reduce the vascular reaction. Consistent with this, samples representing different stages of the subsequent procedure showed similarly low vascular indices.

ALTEX 27(2), 97-103
doi: 10.14573/altex.2010.2.97

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