Bone Laboratory

Fracture healing

A herbal paste containing Carthami Flos, Dipsaci Radix, Notoginseng Rhizoma and Rhei Rhizoma (CDNR) has been developed to treat fracture topically. It has been nanomized (collaborated with UST) or further simplified to a 3-herb formula (CDR). Fracture and drill-defect animal model in rabbit and rat, respectively, have been developed to study their efficacy. The in vivo efficacy of these formulae were assessed using various of methods including X-ray, micro-CT, biomechanical test and histomorphometry. CDR paste has been translated into patch form for a clinical study with ORT under ITF support. It decreased the fracture length at the fifth metatarsal fracture and ameliorated the pain of patients.

Soft tissue injury

Paw edema and muscle contusion rat models have been established in our Institute to study the soft tissue injury. A topical herbal bath formula containing Carthami Flos, Angelicae Sinensis Radix and Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix (CAA), has been developed for swelling control. The nanomized CDNR and CDR pastes have also been studied for their effect on promotion of the rehabilitation of soft tissue injury. Assessments including water displacement test, allodynia threshold, histology and immunohistochemistry have been employed. Zebrafish embryo model was utilized to study their angiogenic effect. In vitro platforms including anti-inflammation study on RAW264.7, angiogenesis study on HLEC, HUVEC (cell migration and tube formation) were also used. Clinical study under ITF support and collaborating with ORT demonstrated that CDR patch and CAA bath improved the pain score and foot function index of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis and acute ankle sprain injury, respectively. CAA also reduce the edema thickness of the pateints.


A herbal formula formed with Epimedii Herba, Ligustri Lucidi Fructus and Psoraleae Fructus (ELP) was designed for the prevention of osteoporosis. The efficacy of this formula was studied comprehensively through in vitro studies (including seropharmcological approach), in vivo studies (OVX and tail-suspension rat models have been developed. Assessment platforms including pQCT, micro-CT, analysis of biochemical markers in serum and biomechanical test) and clinical trial. Both of the in vivo studies and clinical trial ELP demonstrated that ELP is effective to reduce bone loss during osteoporosis. The in vitro studies illustrated that ELP prevents bone loss through stimulating osteogenesis and reducing osteoclastogenesis at the same time.