In this study, we investigated the effect of supplementing a non-dispersive dicalcium phosphate-rich calcium phosphate bone cement (DCP-rich CPC) with type I collagen on in vitro cellular activities and its performance as a bone graft material. Varying amounts of type I collagen were added during the preparation of the DCP-rich CPC. In vitro cell adhesion, morphology, viability, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity were evaluated using progenitor bone cells. Bone graft performance was evaluated via a rat posterolateral lumbar fusion model and osteointegration of the implant. New bone formations in the restorative sites were assessed by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and histological analysis. We found that the incorporation of collagen into the DCP-rich CPC was associated with increased cell adhesion, cell viability, and ALP activity in vitro. The spinal fusion model revealed a significant increase in bone regeneration. Additionally, better osseointegration was observed between the host bone and graft with the DCP-rich CPC supplemented with collagen than with the collagen-free DCP-rich CPC control graft. Furthermore, compared to the control graft, the results of micro-CT showed that a smaller amount of residual material was observed with the collagen-containing DCP-rich CPC graft compared with the control graft, which suggests the collagen supplement enhanced new bone formation. Of the different mixtures evaluated in this study (0.8 g DCP-rich CPC supplemented with 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mL type I collagen, respectively), DCP-rich CPC supplemented with 0.4 mL collagen led to the highest level of osteogenesis. Our results suggest that the DCP-rich CPC supplemented with collagen has potential to be used as an effective bone graft material in spinal surgery.
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