Evaluation of Bone Tissue Decalcification Methods for Use in Tissue Engineering Research

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Diamond Stevens


Developing tissue engineering implants to treat severe bone injuries
requires studies using large animal model systems, such as
swine, before human clinical trials can be considered. Use of
large animals for bone tissue studies is complicated by the need
to use harsh chemical agents to decalcify the bone. To take full
advantage of modern, commonly used histological techniques for
data generation, the bone must be decalcified in order to soften it
enough so that it can be sectioned. However, prolonged or improper
exposure to harsh chemical decalcification agents can
destroy the tissue and make it useless for data gathering. The
goal of this work is to determine which, decalcifying agent treatment
gives the best combination of sectioning, histochemical
staining, and immunostaining competence in swine radius bone
specimens. The three decalcification agents we investigated
were trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), CalciClear Rapid, and Nitric Acid
(HNO3). These findings will help us to develop better experiments
using swine as a model for bone tissues engineering.

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