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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 613403, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/613403
Research Article

A New Piezoelectric Actuator Induces Bone Formation In Vivo: A Preliminary Study

1Departamento de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Évora, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal
2Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
3Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear, Estrada Nacional 10, 2686-953 Sacavém, Portugal
4Departamento de Mecânica, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
5Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Évora, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal
6Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas (ICAAM), Universidade de Évora, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal

Received 11 January 2012; Revised 21 March 2012; Accepted 9 April 2012

Academic Editor: Chuanyue Wu

Copyright © 2012 Joana Reis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This in vivo study presents the preliminary results of the use of a novel piezoelectric actuator for orthopedic application. The innovative use of the converse piezoelectric effect to mechanically stimulate bone was achieved with polyvinylidene fluoride actuators implanted in osteotomy cuts in sheep femur and tibia. The biological response around the osteotomies was assessed through histology and histomorphometry in nondecalcified sections and histochemistry and immunohistochemistry in decalcified sections, namely, through Masson's trichrome, and labeling of osteopontin, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase. After one-month implantation, total bone area and new bone area were significantly higher around actuators when compared to static controls. Bone deposition rate was also significantly higher in the mechanically stimulated areas. In these areas, osteopontin increased expression was observed. The present in vivo study suggests that piezoelectric materials and the converse piezoelectric effect may be used to effectively stimulate bone growth.