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Biomaterials. 2004 May;25(11):2133-8.

Surface immobilized bisphosphonate improves stainless-steel screw fixation in rats.

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Department of Physics and Measurement Technology, Biology and Chemistry, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden.


An increase in the mechanical fixation in bone of metallic biomaterials is considered advantageous in joint replacement and fracture surgery. Different approaches to improve fixation may be e.g. surface roughening, Ca-mineral coating or surface immobilization of growth factors or drugs. In the present work, bisphosphonate, a class of drugs that inhibit bone resorption, was immobilized onto stainless-steel screws. The screws were first roughened and coated with immobilized and cross-linked fibrinogen. Subsequently, an N-bisphosphonate, pamidronate, was immobilized onto fibrinogen, and another N-bisphosphonate, ibandronate, adsorbed on top of this. The so coated screws were inserted into the tibiae of eight male Sprague-Dawley rats. Another eight rats received screws prepared in the same way, but without the bisphosphonate coating. Pullout strength tests were performed after 2 weeks of implantation. The results showed a 28% (p=0.0009) higher pullout force and 90% increased pullout energy for the bisphosphonate coated screws, and support the idea that surface immobilized bisphosphonates can be used to improve biomaterials fixation in bone.

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