• bioactive glass particle;
  • degradation;
  • osteoconduction;
  • foreign body giant cell;
  • osteoclast-like cell


Bioglass® particles of the compositions 45s5, 52s, and 55s were implanted in the distal femoral epiphysis of rabbits. Animals were sacrificed at 7, 28, and 84 days postoperatively and specimens investigated using electron microscopy and electron dispersive X-ray analysis. The intention was to correlate the finding of different types of multinuclear giant cells (MNGC) in the center of the implantation bed with earlier hypothesized accumulated particle eluates and changed particle compositions. The distribution of Si, Na, Ca, P, O, S, and Cl throughout the implantation bed was analyzed. Bioglass® particles degraded either in Si-rich remnants or in CaP-shells. MNGC of foreign body giant cell type in high numbers as well as of osteoclast-like type at later time intervals in small numbers were found on the surface of Si-rich as well as on Ca- and P-rich particle remnants. Osteoclast-like cells were detected on the particles after transformation in CaP-shells. It is concluded that the formation of different types of MNGC is determined by the composition of the substrate, that is, osteoclast-like cells develop exclusively on resorbable substrates. The absolute number of MNGC depended on the time after implantation and the solubility of the implant. Bone bonding, however, only occurred on Ca- and P-rich surfaces. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 70A: 370–379, 2004