Surgical angiogenesis in porcine tibial allotransplantation: A new large animal bone vascularized composite allotransplantation model

Dimitra Kotsougiani, Caroline A. Hundepool, Joost I. Willems, Patricia Friedrich, Alexander Y. Shin, Allen T. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Segmental bone loss resulting from trauma, infection malignancy and congenital anomaly remains a major reconstructive challenge. Current therapeutic options have significant risk of failure and substantial morbidity. Use of bone vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) would offer both a close match of resected bone size and shape and the healing and remodeling potential of living bone. At present, life-long drug immunosuppression (IS) is required. Organ toxicity, opportunistic infection and neoplasm risks are of concern to treat such non-lethal indications. We have previously demonstrated that bone and joint VCA viability may be maintained in rats and rabbits without the need of long-term-immunosuppression by implantation of recipient derived vessels within the VCA. It generates an autogenous, neoangiogenic circulation with measurable flow and active bone remodeling, requiring only 2 weeks of IS. As small animals differ from man substantially in anatomy, bone physiology and immunology, we have developed a porcine bone VCA model to evaluate this technique before clinical application is undertaken. Miniature swine are currently widely used for allotransplantation research, given their immunologic, anatomic, physiologic and size similarities to man. Here, we describe a new porcine orthotopic tibial bone VCA model to test the role of autogenous surgical angiogenesis to maintain VCA viability. The model reconstructs segmental tibial bone defects using size-and shape-matched allogeneic tibial bone segments, transplanted across a major swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) mismatch in Yucatan miniature swine. Nutrient vessel repair and implantation of recipient derived autogenous vessels into the medullary canal of allogeneic tibial bone segments is performed in combination with simultaneous short-term IS. This permits a neoangiogenic autogenous circulation to develop from the implanted tissue, maintaining flow through the allogeneic nutrient vessels for a short time. Once established, the new autogenous circulation maintains bone viability following cessation of drug therapy and subsequent nutrient vessel thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55238
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number126
StatePublished - 2017


  • Issue 126
  • Medicine
  • Pig
  • Segmental bone defects
  • Surgical angiogenesis
  • Swine
  • Translational research
  • VCA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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