In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation of Starfish Bone-Derived β-Tricalcium Phosphate as a Bone Substitute Material.


Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan. [Email]


We evaluated starfish-derived β-tricalcium phosphate (Sf-TCP) obtained by phosphatization of starfish-bone-derived porous calcium carbonate as a potential bone substitute material. The Sf-TCP had a communicating pore structure with a pore size of approximately 10 μm. Although the porosity of Sf-TCP was similar to that of Cerasorb M (CM)-a commercially available β-TCP bone filler-the specific surface area was roughly three times larger than that of CM. Observation by scanning electron microscopy showed that pores communicated to the inside of the Sf-TCP. Cell growth tests showed that Sf-TCP improved cell proliferation compared with CM. Cells grown on Sf-TCP showed stretched filopodia and adhered; cells migrated both to the surface and into pores. In vivo, vigorous tissue invasion into pores was observed in Sf-TCP, and more fibrous tissue was observed for Sf-TCP than CM. Moreover, capillary formation into pores was observed for Sf-TCP. Thus, Sf-TCP showed excellent biocompatibility in vitro and more vigorous bone formation in vivo, indicating the possible applications of this material as a bone substitute. In addition, our findings suggested that mimicking the microstructure derived from whole organisms may facilitate the development of superior artificial bone.


angiogenesis,bone substitute,calcium carbonate,porous calcium phosphate,starfish,β-tricalcium phosphate,