JOURNAL ARTICLE

Establishment of a Segmental Femoral Critical-size Defect Model in Mice Stabilized by Plate Osteosynthesis

Mathieu Manassero, Adeline Decambron, Bui Truong Huu Thong, Véronique Viateau, Morad Bensidhoum, Hervé Petite
Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE 2016 October 12, (116)
27768070
The use of tissue-engineered bone constructs is an appealing strategy to overcome drawbacks of autografts for the treatment of massive bone defects. As a model organism, the mouse has already been widely used in bone-related research. Large diaphyseal bone defect models in mice, however, are sparse and often use bone fixation which fills the bone marrow cavity and does not provide optimal mechanical stability. The objectives of the current study were to develop a critical-size, segmental, femoral defect in nude mice. A 3.5-mm mid-diaphyseal femoral ostectomy (approximately 25% of the femur length) was performed using a dedicated jig, and was stabilized with an anterior located locking plate and 4 locking screws. The bone defect was subsequently either left empty or filled with a bone substitute (syngenic bone graft or coralline scaffold). Bone healing was monitored noninvasively using radiography and in vivo micro-computed-tomography and was subsequently assessed by ex vivo micro-computed-tomography and undecalcified histology after animal sacrifice, 10 weeks postoperatively. The recovery of all mice was excellent, a full-weight-bearing was observed within one day following the surgical procedure. Furthermore, stable bone fixation and consistent fixation of the implanted materials were achieved in all animals tested throughout the study. When the bone defects were left empty, non-union was consistently obtained. In contrast, when the bone defects were filled with syngenic bone grafts, bone union was always observed. When the bone defects were filled with coralline scaffolds, newly-formed bone was observed in the interface between bone resection edges and the scaffold, as well as within a short distance within the scaffold. The present model describes a reproducible critical-size femoral defect stabilized by plate osteosynthesis with low morbidity in mice. The new load-bearing segmental bone defect model could be useful for studying the underlying mechanisms in bone regeneration pertinent to orthopaedic applications.

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