Osteoconduction is an important consideration for fabricating bio-active materials for bone regeneration. For years, hydroxyapatite and β-calcium triphosphate (β-TCP) have been used to develop bone grafts for treating bone defects. However, this material can be difficult to handle due to filling material sagging. High molecular weight hyaluronic acid (H-HA) can be used as a carrier to address this problem and improve operability. However, the effect of H-HA on bone formation is still controversial. In this study, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (L-HA) was fabricated using gamma-ray irradiation. The viscoelastic properties and chemical structure of the fabricated hybrids were evaluated by a rheological analysis nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum. The L-MH was mixed with H-HA to produce H-HA/L-HA hybrids at ratios of 80:20, 50:50 and 20:80 (w/w). These HA hybrids were then combined with hydroxyapatite and β-TCP to create a novel bone graft composite. For animal study, artificial bone defects were prepared in rabbit femurs. After 12 weeks of healing, the rabbits were scarified, and the healing statuses were observed and evaluated through micro-computer tomography (CT) and tissue histological images. Our viscoelastic analysis showed that an HA hybrid consisting 20% H-HA is sufficient to maintain elasticity; however, the addition of L-HA dramatically decreases the dynamic viscosity of the HA hybrid. Micro-CT images showed that the new bone formations in the rabbit femur defect model treated with 50% and 80% L-HA were 1.47 (p < 0.05) and 2.26 (p < 0.01) times higher than samples filled with HA free bone graft. In addition, a similar tendency was observed in the results of HE staining. These results lead us to suggest that the material with an H-HA/L-HA ratio of 50:50 exhibited acceptable viscosity and significant new bone formation. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that it may be a potential candidate to serve as a supporting system for improving the operability of granular bone grafts and enhancing new bone formations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1708
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Animal study
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Low molecular weight
  • New bone formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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