A review of mouse critical size defect models in weight bearing bones

Jonathan S. Harris, Thomas B. Bemenderfer, Alexander R. Wessel, Melissa A. Kacena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Scopus citations


Current and future advances in orthopedic treatment are aimed at altering biological interactions to enhance bone healing. Currently, several clinical scenarios exist for which there is no definitive treatment, specifically segmental bone loss from high-energy trauma or surgical resection - and it is here that many are aiming to find effective solutions. To test experimental interventions and better understand bone healing, researchers employ critical size defect (CSD) models in animal studies. Here, an overview of CSDs is given that includes the specifications of varying models, a discussion of current scaffold and bone graft designs, and current outcome measures used to determine the extent of bone healing. Many promising graft designs have been discovered along with promising adjunctive treatments, yet a graft that offers biomechanical support while allowing for neovascularization with eventual complete resorption and remodeling remains to be developed. An overview of this important topic is needed to highlight current advances and provide a clear understanding of the ultimate goal in CSD research - develop a graft for clinical use that effectively treats the orthopedic conundrum of segmental bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Allograft
  • Autograft
  • Bone healing
  • Critical size defect
  • Mouse model
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology

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