Bone morphogenetic protein-7 accelerates fracture healing in osteoporotic rats

Ashish D. Diwan*, Anthony Leong, Richard Appleyard, Divya Bhargav, Zhi Ming Fang, Aiqun Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass, bone fragility and increased susceptibility to fracture. Fracture healing in osteoporosis is delayed and rates of implant failure are high with few biological treatment options available. This study aimed to determine whether a single dose of bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) in a collagen/carboxy-methyl cellulose (CMC) composite enhanced fracture healing in an osteoporotic rat model. Materials and Methods: An open femoral midshaft osteotomy was performed in female rats 3 months post-ovarectomy. Rats were randomized to receive either BMP-7 composite ( n = 30) or composite alone ( n = 30) at the fracture site during surgery. Thereafter calluses were collected on days 12, 20 and 31. Callus cross-sectional area, bone mineral density, biomechanical stiffness and maximum torque, radiographic bony union and histological callus maturity were evaluated at each time point. Results: There were statistically significant increases in bone mineral density and callus cross-section area at all time points in the BMP-7 group as compared to controls and biomechanical readings showed stronger bones at day 31 in the BMP-7 group. Histological and radiographic evaluation indicated significant acceleration of bony union in the BMP-7 group as compared to controls. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that BMP-7 accelerates fracture healing in an oestrogen-deficient environment in a rat femoral fracture healing model to scientific relevance level I. The use of BMP-7 composite could offer orthopedic surgeons an advantage over oestrogen therapy, enhancing osteoporotic fracture healing with a single, locally applied dose at the time of surgery, potentially overcoming delays in healing caused by the osteoporotic state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-546
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Orthopaedics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone morphogenetic protein-7
  • Carboxy-methyl cellulose
  • Oestrogen
  • Osteoporotic fracture healing
  • Rat femur


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