Bone regeneration procedures require alternative graft biomaterials to those for autogenous bone. Therefore, we developed a novel porcine graft using particle sizes of 250-500 μm and 500-1000 μm in rabbit calvarial bone defects and compared the graft properties with those of commercial hydroxyapatite (HA)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) over eight weeks. Surgery was performed in 20 adult male New Zealand white rabbits. During a standardized surgical procedure, four calvarial critical-size defects of 5 mm diameter and 3 mm depth were prepared. The defects were filled with HA/β-TCP, 250-500 μm or 500-1000 μm porcine graft, and control defects were not filled. The animals were grouped for sacrifice at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-surgery. Subsequently, sample blocks were prepared for micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scanning and histological sectioning. Similar bone formations were observed in all three treatment groups, although the 250-500 μm porcine graft performed slightly better. Rabbit calvarial bone tissue positively responded to porcine grafts and commercial HA/β-TCP, structural analyses showed similar crystallinity and porosity of the porcine and HA/β-TCP grafts, which facilitated bone formation through osteoconduction. These porcine grafts can be considered as graft substitutes, although further development is required for clinical applications.
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