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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 784702, 11 pages
Research Article

Comparative Biomechanical and Microstructural Analysis of Native versus Peracetic Acid-Ethanol Treated Cancellous Bone Graft

1University Centre for Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
2Centre for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research, University Hospital and Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
3Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
4Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Tissue Bank, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Received 24 September 2013; Revised 10 December 2013; Accepted 23 December 2013; Published 11 February 2014

Academic Editor: Sandra Pina

Copyright © 2014 Juliane Rauh 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.


Bone transplantation is frequently used for the treatment of large osseous defects. The availability of autologous bone grafts as the current biological gold standard is limited and there is a risk of donor site morbidity. Allogenic bone grafts are an appealing alternative, but disinfection should be considered to reduce transmission of infection disorders. Peracetic acid-ethanol (PE) treatment has been proven reliable and effective for disinfection of human bone allografts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of PE treatment on the biomechanical properties and microstructure of cancellous bone grafts (CBG). Forty-eight human CBG cylinders were either treated by PE or frozen at −20°C and subjected to compression testing and histological and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The levels of compressive strength, stiffness (Young’s modulus), and fracture energy were significantly decreased upon PE treatment by 54%, 59%, and 36%, respectively. Furthermore, PE-treated CBG demonstrated a 42% increase in ultimate strain. SEM revealed a modified microstructure of CBG with an exposed collagen fiber network after PE treatment. We conclude that the observed reduced compressive strength and reduced stiffness may be beneficial during tissue remodeling thereby explaining the excellent clinical performance of PE-treated CBG.