Utilization of a genetically modified muscle flap for local BMP-2 production and its effects on bone healing: a histomorphometric and radiological study in a rat model

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Lampert, Florian M.
Momeni, Arash
Filev, Filip
Torio-Padron, Nestor
Finkenzeller, Günter
Stark, G. Björn
Steiner, Dominik
Koulaxouzidis, Georgios

Aim of the study

We developed an experimental rat model to explore the possibility of enhancing the healing of critical-size bone defects. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept by achieving high local BMP-2 expression via a transduced muscle flap that would facilitate bony union while minimizing systemic sequelae.


The transduction potential of the adenoviral vector encoding for BMP-2 was tested in different cell lines in vitro. In vivo experiments consisted of harvesting a pedicled quadriceps femoris muscle flap with subsequent creation of a critical-size defect in the left femur in Sprague-Dawley rats. Next, the pedicled muscle flap was perfused with high titers of Ad.BMP-2 and Ad.GFP virus, respectively. Twelve animals were divided into three groups comparing the effects of Ad.BMP-2 transduction to Ad.GFP and placebo. Bone healing was monitored radiologically with subsequent histological analysis post-mortem.


The feasibility of this concept was demonstrated by successful transduction in vitro and in vivo as evidenced by a marked increase of BMP-2 expression. The three examined groups only showed minor difference regarding bone regeneration; however, one complete bridging of the defect was observed in the Ad.BMP-2 group. No evidence of systemic viral contamination was noted.


A marked increase of local BMP-2 expression (without untoward systemic sequelae) was detected. However, bone healing was not found to be significantly enhanced, possibly due to the small sample size of the study.

Journal Title
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 10 (2015). http://josr-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13018-015-0196-6

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