Journal of Oral Tissue Engineering

Comparative Study of Physical and Morphological Characteristics of Cultured and Natural Coral as a Bone Augmentation Scaffold

Tetsunari NISHIKAWA1, Tomoharu OKAMURA2, Kazuya MASUNO1, Hidenori MATSUMOTO1, Masataka HIROSE3, Naoya UEMURA3, Naoko YASUDA4, Michio HIDAKA4, Shyunsuke BABA3, Koichi IMAI5, and Akio TANAKA2

1Department of Innovation in Dental Education,
2Department of Oral Pathology, 3Department of Oral Implantology,
Osaka Dental University, Osaka, Japan
4Department of Chemistry, Biology and Marine Science,
Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan
5Department of Biomaterials, Osaka Dental University, Osaka, Japan

J Oral Tissue Engin 2016; 14(2): 107 - 113.

Purpose: Coral is a porous and bioabsorptive material with physical strength that could possibly be effectively used as scaffolding for bone augmentation. To compare the characteristics of cultured and natural coral, we examined the physical characteristics and internal structure of porous corals as a scaffold material. Materials and methods: Dried blocks of cultured and natural coral (velvet fin-ger coral) were immersed in 1N NaOH to remove protein. We then observed the exoskeleton and surface of these cultured and natural corals using micro-CT and SEM. We also measured the specific gravity, the proportion of internal cavities, and the physical strength (compressive strength, hardness) of the cultured coral when wet, and in comparison with the natural coral in the sea. Results: Cultured coral was a porous structure with tubular cavities measuring 100-250µm in diameter and natural coral was 100-200µm. The specific gravity and proportion of cavities, were 1.02, and 66.9%, respectively, for cultured coral, and 1.32, and 52.8%, for natural coral. The compressive strength and hardness of cultured coral were 9.3 MPa, 52.4 and those of natural coral were 26.6 MPa, 60.1, respectively. These findings suggest that cultured coral may be useful for bioabsorbable scaffold, and natural coral for bone augmentation.

Key words: Cultured coral, Skeleton structure, Scaffold, Physical strength