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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 309287, 8 pages
Review Article

Animal Models of Typical Heterotopic Ossification

Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 26 August 2010; Accepted 28 September 2010

Academic Editor: Monica Fedele

Copyright © 2011 Lixin Kan and John A. Kessler. 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.


Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the formation of marrow-containing bone outside of the normal skeleton. Acquired HO following traumatic events is a common and costly clinical complication. In contrast, hereditary HO is rarer, progressive, and life-threatening. Substantial effort has been directed towards understanding the mechanisms underlying HO and finding efficient treatments. However, one crucial limiting factor has been the lack of relevant animal models. This article reviews the major currently available animal models, summarizes some of the insights gained from these studies, and discusses the potential future challenges and directions in HO research.