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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2013 Mar;24(3):821-8. doi: 10.1007/s10856-012-4840-y. Epub 2012 Dec 30.

SEM and EDS investigation of a pyrolytic carbon covered C/C composite maxillofacial implant retrieved from the human body after 8 years.

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  • 1Department of Atomic Physics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary.


The long term effect of the human body on a pyrolytic carbon covered C/C composite maxillofacial implant (CarBulat(Tm)) was investigated by comparing the structure, the surface morphology and composition of an implant retrieved after 8 years to a sterilized, but not implanted one. Although the thickness of the carbon fibres constituting the implants did not change during the 8 year period, the surface of the implant retrieved was covered with a thin surface layer not present on the unimplanted implant. The composition of this layer is identical to the composition of the underlying carbon fibres. Calcium can only be detected on the surface as a trace element implying that the new layer is not formed by bone tissue. Residual soft tissue penetrating the bulk material between the carbon fibre bunches was found on the retrieved implant indicating the importance of the surface morphology in tissue growth and adhering to implants.

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