Biphasic bone substitutes (BBS) are currently well-established biomaterials. Through their constant development, even natural components like hyaluronic acid (HY) have been added to improve both their handling and also their regenerative properties. However, little knowledge exists regarding the consequences of the addition of HY to their biocompatibility and the inflammatory tissue reactions. Thus, the present study was conducted, aiming to analyze the influence of two different amounts of high molecular weight HY (HMWHY), combined with a BBS, on in vitro biocompatibility and in vivo tissue reaction. Established in vitro procedures, using L929 cells, were used for cytocompatibility analyses under the test conditions of DIN EN:ISO 10993-5. For the in vivo part of the study, calvarial defects were created in 20 Wistar rats and subsequently filled with BBS, and BBS combined with two different HMWHY amounts, i.e., BBS + HY(L) and BBS + HY(H). As controls, empty defects were used. Established histological, immunohistochemical, and histomorphometrical methods were applied to analyze the tissue reactions to the three different materials, including the induction of pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophages and multinucleated giant cells (BMGCs). The in vitro results showed that none of the materials or compositions caused biological damage to the L929 cells and can be considered to be non-toxic. The in vivo results showed that only the addition of high doses of HY to a biphasic bone substitute significantly decreases the occurrence of pro-inflammatory macrophages (* p
< 0.05), comparable to the numbers found in the control group, while no significant differences within the three study groups for M2-macrophages nor BMGCs were detected. In conclusion, the addition of different amounts of HMWHY does not seem to affect the inflammation response to BBS, while improving the material handling properties.
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