The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of type I collagen on the healing of bone defects both experimentally and clinically.
In the experimental study, 16 adult male rabbits were divided into 2 groups: a collagen group and a control group. After the induction of general anesthesia with intraperitoneal ketamine, the anterior surfaces of tibias of the rabbits were surgically exposed, and a hole 4 mm in diameter was made in each tibia. In the collagen group, the defects were filled with type I collagen. The unfilled defects of the other animals were used as controls. During the study, the serum alkaline phosphatase activity of the rabbits, and radiopacity changes in the radiographs of the tibias of the rabbits were evaluated. The rabbits were killed on the 35th day, and histologic sections of the tibias were prepared. The clinical study was carried out on periapical defects in a total of 15 patients who underwent apicoectomy. After the surgical procedure, the osseous defects in periapical regions of 7 patients were filled with type I collagen. The unfilled cavities of the other patients were used for control purposes. The patients were evaluated clinically and radiographically in the postoperative period.
In the experimental study, there was an increase in radiopacity corresponding with the serum alkaline phosphatase activity, and there were statistically significant differences between the control and collagen groups both radiologically and biochemically on the 14th and 28th days of the study. In the clinical study, the control cavities filled with a tissue of normal bone density in about 5 months, but the collagen cavities filled in 3 months. It was determined that heterologous type I collagen provides a more rapid regeneration of bone defects.