Bioresorbability, porosity and mechanical strength of bone substitutes: What is optimal for bone regeneration?

Gerjon Hannink, J. J. Chris Arts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

274 Citations (Web of Science)


Bone repair is a multi-dimensional process that requires osteogenic cells, an osteoconductive matrix, osteoinductive signalling, mechanical stability and vascularization. In clinical practice, bone substitute materials are being used for reconstructive purposes, bone stock augmentation, and bone repair. Over the last decade, the use of calcium phosphate (CaP) based bone substitute materials has increased exponentially. These bone substitute materials vary in composition, mechanical strength and biological mechanism of function, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. It is known that intrinsic material properties of CaP bone substitutes have a profound effect on their mechanical and biological behaviour and associated biodegradation. These material properties of bone substitutes, such as porosity, composition and geometry change the trade-off between mechanical and biological performance. The choice of the optimal bone substitutes is therefore not always an easy one, and largely depends on the clinical application and its associated biological and mechanical needs. Not all bone graft substitutes will perform the same way, and their performance in one clinical site may not necessarily predict their performance in another site. CaP bone substitutes unfortunately have yet to achieve optimal mechanical and biological performance and to date each material has its own trade-off between mechanical and biological performance. This review describes the effect of intrinsic material properties on biological performance, mechanical strength and biodegradability of CaP bone substitutes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S22-S25
JournalInjury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Bone substitutes
  • Porosity
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Biodegradability
  • Bone regeneration

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