Bioabsorbable fish scale for the internal fixation of fracture: A preliminary study

Cheng Hung Chou, Yong Guei Chen, Chien Chen Lin, Shang Ming Lin, Kai Chiang Yang, Shih Hsin Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Fish scales, which consist of type I collagen and hydroxyapatite (HA), were used to fabricate a bioabsorbable bone pin in this study. Fresh fish scales were decellularized and characterized to provide higher biocompatibility. The mechanical properties of fish scales were tested, and the microstructure of an acellular fish scale was examined. The growth curve of a myoblastic cell line (C2C12), which was cultured on the acellular fish scales, implied biocompatibility in vitro, and the morphology of the cells cultured on the scales was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A bone pin made of decellularized fish scales was used for the internal fixation of femur fractures in New Zealand rabbits. Periodic X-ray evaluations were obtained, and histologic examinations were performed postoperatively. The present results show good cell growth on decellularized fish scales, implying great biocompatibility in vitro. Using SEM, the cell morphology revealed great adhesion on a native, layered collagen structure. The Young's modulus was 332±50.4 MPa and the tensile strength was 34.4±6.9 MPa for the decellularized fish scales. Animal studies revealed that a fish-scale-derived bone pin improved the healing of bone fractures and degraded with time. After an 8-week implantation, the bone pin integrated with the adjacent tissue, and new extracellular matrix was synthesized around the implant. Our results proved that fish-scale-derived bone pins are a promising implant material for bone healing and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2493-2502
Number of pages10
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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