SUMMARY: With optimal surgical treatment within an appropriate time frame, bony tissue has the potential to regenerate defects without the formation of scar tissue. However, even under optimal mechanical circumstances and appropriate operative treatment, healing can fail and delayed or non-union occur. In Europe delayed bone healing leads to socio-economic costs of up to 14.7 billion euros per year. In addition to the optimal clinical treatment, the success of bone regeneration depends on the following main aspects: (1) adequate mechanical stabilization and biological competence of the organism, (2) osteogenic cells, (3) osteoconductive structures or scaffolds, and (4) growth factors (Diamond Concept)(1). Further, (5) a sufficient vascularisation is essential for the nutritive supply. Within the last years two growth factors, BMP-2 and BMP-7, were approved for clinical use in orthopaedic and trauma surgery for different indications.(2,3) The establishment of carrier systems and application techniques for growths factors is the focus of current research. The combination of a well established stabilization system and local drug delivery system for bioactive factors could be a therapeutical strategy to optimize bone healing and reduce the complication rate, in the future.
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