Effect of Er:YAG laser holes on osteoinduction in demineralized rat calvarial allografts

R. J. O'Donnell, T. F. Deutsch, T. J. Flotte, C. A. Lorente, W. W. Tomford, H. J. Mankin, K. T. Schomacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Massive cortical autografts and allografts have been found to incorporate into host bone very slowly and thus are subject to complications such as fatigue fracture and infection. In order to understand and improve the process of osteogenesis in these types of bone grafts, a new experimental model was developed using bone discs from rat calvaria prepared by demineralization and drilling of 0.5 mm diameter holes with a pulsed, 2.94 μm wavelength Erbium:Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet laser. Four types of bone discs were analyzed: untreated (Type 1), demineralized (Type II), laser-ablated (Type III), and laser-ablated then demineralized (Type IV). The discs were transplanted into a subcutaneous site in adult Sprague-Dawley rats and followed for as long as 6 weeks. Histologic analysis of the discs at weekly intervals with use of hematoxylin and eosin staining confirmed the presence of new bone growth in Type-II and Type-IV discs. The amount of new bone growth in each disc was estimated by determining the mineral x-ray attenuation coefficient, which is proportional to mineral density, from digitized radiographs of the discs. The results showed that the processes of demineralization (p < 0.001) and laser ablation with demineralization (p < 0.05) were both significant in enhancing new bone growth in this model. This study demonstrated that osteoinduction can be fostered in cortical bone through the processes of demineralization and laser ablation. To the extent that laser ablation may allow maintenance of structural integrity while altering the surface geometry in such a way as to promote ingrowth of new bone, this experimental model represents an advance in understanding how osteogenesis in cortical bone grafts might be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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