Evaluation of Bone Regeneration Using the Rat Critical Size Calvarial Defect
Spicer, Patrick P.
Kretlow, James D.
Jansen, John A.
Kasper, F. Kurtis
Mikos, Antonios G.
Animal models that are reliably reproducible, appropriate analogues to the clinical condition they are used to investigate, and that offer minimal morbidity and periprocedural mortality to the subject are the keystone to the preclinical development of translational technologies. For bone tissue engineering, a number of small animal models exist. Here we describe the protocol for one such model, the rat calvarial defect. This versatile model allows for evaluation of biomaterials and bone tissue engineering approaches within a reproducible, nonload-bearing orthotopic site. Critical steps to ensure appropriate experimental control and troubleshooting tips learned through extensive experience with this model are provided. The surgical procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes to complete with approximately 2 hours of perioperative care, and tissue harvest is generally performed 4 to 12 weeks postoperatively. Several analytical techniques are presented, which evaluate the cellular and extracellular matrix components, functionality and mineralization, including histological, mechanical and radiographic methods.
tissue engineering; animal model; bone regeneration; regenerative medicine; biomaterials