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Biomaterials. 2013 May;34(14):3535-46. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.01.024. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

The roles of different scale ranges of surface implant topography on the stability of the bone/implant interface.

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  • 1Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, 164 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We sought to deconvolute the effects of sub-micron topography and microtopography on the phenomena of bone bonding and interfacial stability of endosseous implants. To address this experimentally, we implanted custom-made titanium alloy implants of varying surface topographical complexity in rat femora, for 6, 9 or 12 days. The five surfaces were polished, machined, dual acid etched, and two forms of grit blasted and acid etched; each surface type was further modified with the deposition of nanocrystals of calcium phosphate to make a total of 10 materials groups (n = 10 for each time point; total 300 implants). At sacrifice, we subjected the bone-implant interface to a mechanical disruption test. We found that even the smoothest surfaces, when modified with sub-micron scale crystals, could be bone-bonding. However, as locomotor loading through bone to the implant increased with time of healing, such interfaces failed while others, with sub-micron features superimposed on surfaces of increasing microtopographical complexity remained intact under loading. We demonstrate here that higher order, micron or coarse-micron, topography is a requirement for longer-term interfacial stability. We show that each of these topographical scale-ranges represents a scale-range seen in natural bone tissue. Thus, what emerges from an analysis of our findings is a new means by which biologically-relevant criteria can be employed to assess the importance of implant surface topography at different scale-ranges.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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