Marker for the pre-clinical development of bone substitute materials
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Thin mechanically stable Ti-cages have been developed for the in-vivo application as X-ray and histology markers for the optimized evaluation of pre-clinical performance of bone graft materials. A metallic frame defines the region of interest during histological investigations and supports the identification of the defect site. This standardization of the procedure enhances the quality of pre-clinical experiments. Different models of thin metallic frameworks were designed and produced out of titanium by additive manufacturing (Selective Laser Melting). The productibility, the mechanical stability, the handling and suitability of several frame geometries were tested during surgery in artificial and in ex-vivo bone before a series of cages was preclinically investigated in the female Göttingen minipigs model. With our novel approach, a flexible process was established that can be adapted to the requirements of any specific animal model and bone graft testing.