The aim of this study was to test bone tissue response to monetite granules in comparison with intramembranous autologous bone graft in a rabbit calvaria critical size defect model. Novel monetite granules were synthesized by thermal conversion of set brushite cement. Eight female New Zealand rabbits were used for this study. Two identical 10mm diameter bicortical cranial defects were created in each animal. One of the defects was grafted with monetite granules while the contralateral was grafted with granules of intramembranous autologous bone as control. Animals were sacrificed 8 weeks after surgery and biopsies were taken for histological and histomorphometrical evaluation under light microscopy. Wilcoxon test was used for statistical analysis. The bone defects treated with either autologous bone or monetite granules were able to heal within the study period. Upon histological observation the defects treated with autologous bone granules resembled the adjacent intact calvaria, whereas the defects treated with monetite showed a high infiltration of new bone and only 13.4±8.4% of remaining granules. The percentage of bone volume in the defects of the control group (71±9%) was 16% higher than in the study group (55±10%) (p<0.05). The percentage of augmented mineralized tissue volume in the study group (68±18%) was not significantly different from the control group (p>0.05). The amount of augmented mineralized tissue in the bone defects obtained with monetite granules was not significantly different from that obtained with autologous bone. This study confirms the potential of monetite based biomaterials as an alternative to autologous bone graft.
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