ABSTRACT Bone loss associated with musculoskeletal trauma or metabolic diseases often require bone grafting. The supply of allograft and auto-graft bones is limited. Hence, development of synthetic bone grafting materials is an active area of research. Chitosan, extracted from chitin present in crawfish shells, was tested as a de-livery vehicle for osteoblasts in a 2-3 mm size defect model in rats. Twenty-seven male Lewis rats, divided into three groups with sacrifice intervals of 3, 6 &amp; 9 months were used. In the experimental samples, a critical size defect was filled with chitosan bone graft paste and fixed with a plate, while in the operated control group, a critical size defect was repaired only by a plate (no paste was applied). An unoperated control group was also included. Bone growth was evaluated histologically by examining undecal-cified and decalcified stained sections. The fe-murs were also examined non-destructively by micro-computed tomography (礐T). Defects filled with chitosan bone graft paste demon-strated superior healing across all time periods compared to unfilled defects as examined by histology and micro-computed tomography. Crawfish chitosan has successfully been used as a cell delivery system for osteoblasts for use as a synthetic bone graft material.
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