Osteoblasts have an essential role in the process of bone formation, and polymer-collagen-Aloe vera (AV) is known to stimulate osteoblast proliferation and maturation. In this translational study, the effects of scaffolds on bone healing and the potential mechanisms responsible were investigated using an animal model of bone defects. Here, following surgical introduction of a bone defect in the proximal femurs of male rabbits, the left femur was implanted with scaffolds for 21 days, then compared to the right femur, which served as a control. According to histological analyses, the use of scaffolds did not result in hepatotoxicity or nephrotoxicity. In contrast to the control group, imaging using X-ray transmission and microcomputed tomography revealed that scaffold implantation boosted the bone repair. In addition, microcomputed tomographic and bone histomorphometric assays in the scaffold-treated group exposed an expansion in the formation of new trabecular bone. Furthermore, scaffold implantation resulted in a considerable increase in trabecular bone thickness but a decrease in the trabecular parameter factor. Following scaffold implantation, the quantities of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, biomarkers capable of simulating bone development, were found to have gradually increased. Overall, this translational study found that scaffolds can improve bone repair by increasing trabecular bone creation via upregulation of Runx2-mediated alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin gene expression. Our findings therefore suggest that scaffolds can be used to treat bone problems such as deformities and fractures.
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