• bone repair;
  • bone graft;
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza;
  • Danshen


Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) is a Chinese medicine used for treatment of cardiac diseases through improving blood circulation. Our laboratory compared the amount of new bone formed in collagen matrix with SM extract to that formed in the collagen matrix alone. Eighteen bone defects, 5 mm × 10 mm were created in the parietal bone of nine New Zealand White rabbits. In the experimental group, six defects were grafted with collagen matrix with SM extract. In the control groups, six defects were grafted with collagen matrix alone (positive control) and six were left empty (negative control). Animals were killed on day 14 and the defects were dissected and prepared for histological assessment. Serial sections were cut across each defect. Quantitative analysis of new bone formation was made on 100 sections (50 sections for each group of SM and positive control) using image analysis. A total of 478% more new bone was present in defects grafted with SM extract in collagen matrix than those grafted with the collagen matrix alone. Very little new bone was formed in the passive control group. In conclusion, SM extract in collagen matrix has the effect of increasing new bone formation locally and can be used for bone grafting especially in cases with compromised vascular responses. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2008