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Bone Substitutes: Swapping Autograft for Bioactive Glass

BONEZONE: What are the benefits of using bioactive glass instead of a bone graft?

Ollila: Up to now, the gold standard has been to use the patient’s own bone (autologous bone graft) to fill bone defects. However, the popularity of autologous bone is steadily decreasing due to the drawbacks relating to its harvesting and use: painful for the patient because of bone harvesting from iliac crest, risk of infection because of secondary surgery site, delayed operation time, risk of nerve damage, limited amount of high quality bone. However, the main benefit is that BonAlive inhibits bacterial growth, which is a property that bone graft does not have.

BONEZONE: What results have arisen regarding patient outcomes and procedure costs?

Ollila: The clinical use of BonAlive is supported by a 20-year research history, including several randomized prospective trials in the field of spine, benign bone tumor and trauma surgery. More than 50 peer reviewed articles have been published about BonAlive. There are a number of randomized prospective clinical trials that present data showing excellent results in patients who have been treated with BonAlive. There are significant savings in overall procedure costs which result from the avoidance of the secondary surgery. The largest cost savings becomes evident when a chronic disease that has been treated for decades with numerous revision surgeries can be cured.

BONEZONE: In which applications is BonAlive being used? How do you see the use of BonAlive expanding in orthopaedics, in the future?

Ollila: We have a strong position in orthopaedics, especially in cases involving the resolution of infection complications after trauma. The main applications are tibia and femur fractures, large bone aneurysmatic bone cysts in the long bones and complex non-union treatment in the distal tibia.

BONEZONE: In what countries does BonAlive have regulatory clearance? Do you see this expanding? Do you plan to expand in the U.S.?

Ollila: For orthopaedic surgery, BonAlive is available in all European countries, Israel, Turkey, Australia, New Zeeland, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

We have a 510(k) for the granules, and we are actively promoting BonAlive in the U.S. in head and neck indications involving chronic infections in the mastoid and frontal sinus areas. We will be launching an innovative and competitive product line for the orthopaedic surgeon community in the near future, and that will be the right time for us to enter the U.S. orthopaedic market.


1. Bioactive glass S53P4 as bone graft substitute in treatment of osteomyelitis, N.C. Lindfors, P. Hyvönen, M. Nyyssönen , M. Kirjavainen, J. Kankare, E. Gullichsen , J. Salo and Through the looking glass; bioactive glass S53P4 (BonAlive_) in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis, J. McAndrew, C. Efrimescu, E. Sheehan, D. Niall

2. Tullamore Hospital pioneers usage of new Bioactive Glass in treatment of resistant osteomyelitis

Fredrik Ollila, Ph.D., obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from Åbo Akademi University, Finland and has also studied marketing and finance at the Business School in Turku, Finland. Between 2003 and 2006, he held several positions at Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland, with increasing levels of responsibility. Dr. Ollila managed the FiberLive technology at Vivoxid Ltd. between 2006 and 2008, and from March 2008 he was responsible for the Global Sales and Marketing of BonAlive® at Vivoxid Ltd. Dr. Ollila was the key architect in executing the management buy-out of the BonAlive technology from Vivoxid Ltd. Please reach Dr. Ollila at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BonAlive Biomaterials Ltd.



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