Titanium-aluminum-vanadium (Ti-6Al-4V) implants were placed in the tibiae of 32 rats (male Sprague-Dawley, 350 g) to examine healing and bone response. Half of the implants were treated with fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1) delivered in an activated fibrinogen matrix. Animals were injected with a radiopharmaceutical imaging agent, technetium-99m-methylene diphosphonate (Tc-99m-MDP), which concentrates in bone, especially in areas of higher osteoblastic activity. Binding of Tc-99m-MDP to the implant was detected in vivo by Anger gamma camera imaging. Fourteen days after implant surgery, specimens were recovered and prepared for histomorphometric analysis. Histologic examination revealed that samples treated with FGF-1 demonstrated significantly greater amounts of bone-to-implant contact (P < .05) compared to controls. Also, FGF-1-treated samples showed significantly greater amounts of bone (percent volume) adjacent to implants (P < .005). These findings were supported by analyses of the non-invasive Tc-99m-MDP images, which demonstrated significantly greater uptake of Tc-99m-MDP adjacent to FGF-1-treated implants (P < .05). Results of the experiments supported the hypothesis that FGF-1 could increase bone production around implants in a rat model.